Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP therapy, also known as autologous rejuvenation therapy, is a revolutionary new treatment. It is often also referred to, by the media, as a “Vampire Facelift”, “Vampire Facial” or “Dracula Therapy".
PRP therapy works on the basis that the body’s own natural healing powers may slow and even reverse the ageing process – it’s a revolutionary repair system that places growth factors in the exact location where we want the skin to repair and rejuvenate itself.
Blood is taken from the patient during the treatment, then treated to harvest the platelet rich plasma and re-injected into the desired area. The therapy is said to plump skin, fill out fine lines and wrinkles, and give an overall more radiant appearance.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy has been used for a number of years in urology, ophthalmology, dentistry, neurosurgery, orthopaedics and sports medicine, to treat muscle and ligament injuries, pain problems, skin lesions and more. Due to the success of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy in medicine, the procedure was then developed into a cosmetic procedure.
Platelets contain a high content of “growth factors” – proteins that help to heal injured tissue or damaged skin. Upon re-injection the platelets release their growth factors which trigger surrounding cells to proliferate, in turn stimulating repair, increasing volume and rejuvenating the skin.
If you are considering Platelet Rich Plasma therapy the following information will give you a basic understanding of the procedure. It can't answer all your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the practitioner. Please ask a practitioner about anything you don't understand.
What is PRP Therapy and how does it work?
PRP therapy involves harvesting platelets from the patient’s own blood in order to inject them into problem skin areas, giving it the nicknames Vampire Facial and Dracula Therapy. Before the procedure, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient and put into a centrifuge, where the blood is spun in order to separate the red blood cells from the platelet plasma. The platelet plasma, which is the component of the blood that is known for being highly effective in treating burns and skin injuries, is then injected into the chosen area, where it plumps up the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
When the platelet plasma is injected into the skin, the platelets release their growth factors. The growth factors stimulate other cells surrounding the injection site, plumping them up and causing them to increase in volume. The platelet plasma sends out signals to other cells in the body when it is injected, telling them to rush forward to the injection site. One cell that is stimulated during the process is the fibroblast cell, which is the cell type that creates collagen. Collagen is what gives skin a youthful appearance. As we age, collagen is produced less and less, causing wrinkles and fine lines in the skin, and therapies such as PRP therapy that stimulate collagen production can counteract this. Another cell stimulated during the process is the pre-adipocyte cell, which is a cell type that can convert into a fat cell, which is especially important in the face to fill out lines and to contour the face.
PRP therapy can be used on the face, particularly around the eyes, mouth and nose, the backs of the hands, and all over the body, more commonly the décolletage and even the knees to give skin a more youthful and radiant appearance.
What can PRP Therapy treat?
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy can be used to treat numerous cosmetic problems, such as fine lines and wrinkles or crepey skin around the mouth and nose, crow’s feet around the eyes and mild drooping or sagging skin around the eyes or on the cheeks. PRP therapy can also be used to improve the appearance of dehydrated or mildly sagging skin on the backs of the hands, on the tops of the feet, elbows and knees. It can be used all over the body.
In terms of medical treatment rather than cosmetic treatment, PRP therapy can be used to treat a multitude of problems, including osteoarthritis and ligament and muscle injuries. It has been used widely in medicine for a number of years.
How long will it take to recover from a PRP treatment?
Recovery time is minimal with Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, much like a visit to the doctor for a blood test. The actual procedure of reinjection of the PRP involves the use of topical anaesthetic, although not always depending on the patient and area being treated, rather than local or general anaesthetic, meaning that most patients feel comfortable returning to their normal activities straight after the treatment or within a short while.
What are the risks and potential complications from PRP treatment?
There are few side effects associated with Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy. Immediately after the procedure, you can expect some bruising, swelling and redness at the injection sites. You may also experience some tenderness and pain at the injection sites. However, any side effects should dissipate within a few days following the procedure.
Who should not have a PRP treatment?
To undergo PRP therapy, you should be in general good health and you should have realistic expectations of the outcome. Most people are suitable candidates for PRP therapy, and it is recommended as a safe treatment for individuals who are unable to undergo more invasive procedures such as a full face lift, due to the risks associated with general anaesthetic (although it will not achieve the same results as a surgical face lift).
Individuals with platelet dysfunction syndrome, critical thrombocytopenia, hypofibrinogenaemia, haemodynamic instability, sepsis, acute & chronic infections and chronic liver pathology are not suitable candidates for PRP therapy.
Those undergoing anti-coagulant therapy are also not suitable candidates.
Who can perform PRP Therapy?
Only fully trained and qualified medical practitioners (nurses, doctors or cosmetic surgeons) should perform PRP therapy.
What is the average cost of PRP treatment?
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy costs between £350 and £500 per session, depending on the practitioner. Generally, you need two to three top-up sessions after your first treatment, so you could pay between £700 and £1500, depending on how many top-up sessions you have. Further maintenance may be required.
Summary of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
PRP therapy is a revolutionary new therapy that is a safe and alternative treatment to various other non-invasive cosmetic treatments such as botulinum toxins and dermal fillers. It’s considered to be a natural treatment, as it uses the body’s own cells (blood plasma) rather than a synthetic substance.
Following PRP therapy, your skin will look more smooth, radiant and youthful.
There are very few risks associated with PRP therapy if it is administered by a fully trained physician.
Watch Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru4XpYJHtcg