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PLATELET RICH PLASMA
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is an established treatment procedure which helps to rejuvenate and to slow down the aging process in the skin. It is also used to treat acne, scars as well as for some patients might help for hair loss. This method of treatment requires injections into the skin of Platelet Rich Plasma obtained from the patient’s own blood.
How does PRP work?
During the procedure the patient’s own blood is first obtained, then centrifuged in order to produce platelet rich plasma. Platelets (small cells in the blood) release numerous cytokines and growth factors (bioactive proteins) which stimulate tissue regeneration and rejuvenation. These processes are achieved mostly through acceleration of hyaluronic acid and collagen production. Hyaluronic acid, by absorption of water, increases skin volume and turgor, while collagen improves skin’s elasticity and strength. It's degradation leads to the appearance of wrinkles. Platelet Rich Plasma is injected into the skin by multiple tiny punctures.
What results can I expect after PRP treatment?
The main purpose of the treatment is to stimulate the skin regeneration and rejuvenation. The skin becomes more elastic and less wrinkled. There is an improvement in the skin texture, tone and density. Scars and stretch marks are diminished. PRP is especially effective in rejuvenation and tightening of the skin around the eyes and lips. Patients with hair loss and acne often also benefit from this treatment.
How long do the results last?
Improvement in the skin texture is usually seen within 3 weeks following the procedure, but full collagen regeneration takes up to 3 months. The final results vary from patient to patient but on an average they last up to 18 months. Advanced wrinkles, deep lines and severe scars cannot be reversed with PRP. More than one session is required to obtain satisfactory results. 2-4 sessions at 2-4 weeks intervals are usually required, followed by periodic maintenance at 3-12 months. Response and number of treatments may vary and are not the same in all patients.
Smokers do not achieve the same positive outcome as non-smokers because tobacco toxins diminish cellular responsiveness to PRP.
Are there any special preparations needed before the treatment?
No special preparations are needed.
On the day of the treatment the patient does not need to be fasting.
Patients taking Aspirin, anti-coagulants (Warfarin), non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (Diclofenac, Ibuprofen etc), in order to minimalize bruising and only after consultation with their physician, may consider to stop taking them for a week prior the treatment. For the same reason it is also recommended to stop taking supplements like Omega 3, garlic and Vitamin E for a similar period of time
How long does the treatment take?
The preparation of PRP takes about 30 minutes and the treatment itself takes about 20-30 minutes. This of course depends on how many areas of the face are to be treated.
Is there any anesthesia needed?
No, no anesthesia is needed; the injections are performed with a very fine needle therefore they are not very painful. In some cases a topical anesthetic cream (numbing) can be used prior the treatment.
What are the potential side effects and complications during and after the treatment?
Possible risks and complications include: pain at the injection site as well as possible bruising at the site from which the blood is drawn. Needle marks ( these are very common, temporary and resolve within a few days). Swelling, bruising. Pain in the treated area is not common but tenderness of the treated area might last for up to 1-2 weeks. Itchiness in the treated area is rare, but if needed might be treated with over the counter anti-histamines. Lumps/bumps usually subside in few days to couple of weeks. Infections are rare but if they do occur, need to be treated with topical or oral antibiotics. Assymetry is common as the human face is not symmetrical, PRP injections can trigger a varying response from one side of the face to the other. Unsatisfactory results; in most cases PRP therapy gives satisfactory outcomes, but some patients may be unhappy with the results due to temporary visible irregularities, prolonged swelling, bruising, tenderness or a result not matching expectations
What are the contraindications for the treatment with PRP
Contraindications include: pregnancy and breast feeding, patients younger than 17 years old, active skin infection, significantly inflamed skin in the treated area, acute and chronic systemic illness (HIV, hepatitis), auto-immunological skin disorder, history of poor healing, anticoagulation therapy, cancer and chemotherapy, significant bruising, liver disease, abnormal platelets function ( blood disorders), recent use of corticosteroids (in last 2 weeks), psychologically unstable patients. PRP stimulates skin to "grow younger", but it does not have any effect on the other face structures like muscles, fats and bones.
What are the aftercare instructions?
After skin rejuvenation with PRP one may apply ice packs to reduce the swelling, avoid scrubbing the treated area for at least 24h, makeup can be applied after 24h, one must not wash the skin directly after the procedure for 5 hours and use only a gently face wash. Avoidance of direct intense heat, strenuous exercises and sauna for minimum of 48 hours, avoidance of sun and applying sun screen protection (SPF 50 plus) for at least 1 month after the therapy is imperative.
After scalp PRP therapy hair can be washed after 24 hours. Regular microneedling can be resumed the next day