Platelet Rich Plasma – Is It the Fountain of Youth?
Platelet Rich Plasma (also known as PRP) has been the focus of much interest in the medical community in recent years. It was initially studied in the 1970s and was used in surgery because it was found to help speed recovery. In the 1990s, research in PRP exploded! It was heavily studied for orthopedic uses, including tendon and ligament injury, non-healing fractures and bone grafting. There have been a number of athletes who have attributed their quick return after an injury to PRP treatments. More recently, PRP has been gaining popularity in the world of cosmetic and aesthetic medicine. Its uses are wide and its results are impressive *.
PRP for Wrinkles
The Vampire Face Lift and Vampire Facial (popularized by the Kardashians) was one of the first cosmetic uses for PRP. The Vampire Facial/Facelift (or any PRP facial or facelift) takes advantage of the growth factors and healing abilities of PRP. The PRP is stimulated through contact with collagen or injured tissue, so when it is combined with microneedling the results are even more impressive *. The platelets help to form a scaffold on which new collagen can be built and the growth factors help to heal and rejuvenate the skin. Facial PRP injections can improve fine lines, thinning skin and sun damage.
PRP for Scars
PRP is also useful in treating scars. The growth factors in the PRP stimulate remodeling in the scar and can help to improve the appearance. It is often combined with lasers and/or microneedling for even better results *.
PRP for Fat
At Imagen, we add PRP to all of our fat transfers. The growth factors in the PRP help to support the fat cells until a new blood supply has been established. Through this practice, we have seen a significant improvement in long-term fat cell survival.
PRP for Hair
PRP can also be used in hair restoration procedures. Injection of PRP into the scalp helps to awaken dormant hair follicles, leading to the production of new hairs. It can be combined with microneedling of the scalp and low level lasers for hair stimulation. It can also be used during hair transplant to increase the viability of the grafts, leading to a fuller head of hair in the end.
The most amazing thing about PRP is that it is produced by your own body. There are no “foreign” substances injected, just a component of your own blood. There is no risk of allergic reaction or rejection. As more research is done on PRP and its ability to heal the body, I anticipate more amazing uses for PRP coming on the horizon.