What is Platelet Rich Plasma therapy?
In recent years, doctors have learned that the body can heal itself. Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that can harness those abilities and amplify the natural growth factors your body uses to heal tissue by extracting the platelets from your blood and placing them in a localised area.
What are platelets and what is plasma? Where does it come from?
Plasma is the liquid portion of whole blood in one’s body. It is composed of water and proteins, and it provides a medium for red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to circulate throughout the body. Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are blood cells that cause clotting and other necessary growth healing functions.
Platelet activation plays a key role in the body’s natural healing process and tissue regeneration.
How does PRP work?
As the plasma is packed with a high concentration of platelets, once these are injected into the skin or else where in the body, the platelet cascade is activated. This cascade consists of several growth factors that are essential for repairing damaged tissue. Platelets also release other substances important for healing, cell adhesion, migration, and growth stimulating the production of reparative cells. It has been used by doctors for many years to accelerate surgical healing; repair tendon; ligament and joint damage; heal skin wounds and help regrow muscles and bone. The same physiological process is used to improve skin health and appearance and can also be used to improve hair growth.
Who performs PRP and what happens in a treatment? How long does it take?
PRP is performed by a trained healthcare professional – Registered Nurse or Medical practitioner.
After a consultation with your healthcare practitioner, photos will be taken to form part of your medical record. Your skin will be prepped and cleaned with an anti-bacterial solution to prevent any risk of infection. A thin layer of a strong numbing gel will be applied to the treatment area and left on for roughly 30-45 minutes to ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure.
While the numbing takes place, your injector will take a sample of blood from you. This sample is then carefully placed into the centrifuge which specifically separates the Platelet Rich Plasma from your red blood cells and other proteins. This plasma is then placed in multiple syringes and your healthcare practitioner will begin to inject small amounts very superficially underneath the skin in 0.5-1 cm spaces.
Overall, your treatment including numbing time will take about 1-1.5 hours.
Does it hurt?
PRP treatment is overall a very comfortable procedure. Your injector will make sure that you are as numb as possible using the numbing gel. You may feel a slight tingling sensation once you have been injected – this is the platelets being activated underneath the skin and is very normal. This tingling sensation will settle not long after your treatment finishes.
What do I do after treatment? Is there downtime?
During the first 24–48 hours after treatment you will experience mild redness, slight swelling, and tenderness in the treated areas. These responses are normal and resolve quickly and spontaneously over the next 1-3 days. Do not wash your face or touch the treated area for 5 hours after injection. You can apply light water-based or mineral makeup where necessary the next day.
There is very minimal downtime, most people are fine to resume normal daily activities such as school runs, grocery shopping etc, though we recommend a 3-day window before any big/important events. We also recommend no excessive exercise for 24 hours.
Bruising at the site of injection can also be expected and clears completely in 1-10 days. Please read your aftercare instructions in the aftercare pack provided – there are several things you can do to help bruising.
How do I prepare for PRP treatment?
Prior to your appointment we advise that you refrain from taking blood thinning medications such as: aspirin, fish oil, ibuprofen to minimise any chance of bruising up to a week before your treatment. (if these medications have been advised by your GP please check with your GP before stopping them). We advise the client to drink 1 litre of water the day of your treatment and 1 day prior to your treatment to ensure we get a good sample of blood.
Is PRP safe?
Yes. PRP is considered a very safe treatment. There is little chance of reaction as the material being injected is from your own blood. In Australia, PRP procedures and medical devices are regulated by the TGA to improve safety for patients.
What areas can be treated?
The regeneration properties of PRP can be used as a cosmetic treatment for the following:
- Any skin area requiring rejuvenation
- Fine lines, wrinkles, and other facial areas
- Crows’ feet, under eye dark circles and hollows
- Acne scarring and other superficial scars
- Sun damaged areas and pigmentation
- Stretch marks – abdomen, thighs, and buttocks
- Aging skin on the neck and decolletage
- Scalp for hair rejuvenation and growth
- Treating uneven skin tone and texture
What will I notice?
- Improved skin tone, texture, and tightness
- Smoother skin
- Glowing skin
- Improved appearance of scars
- Improved hair density and growth when treating the scalp
How long does it take to see results? How many treatments do I need to maintain good results?
In the weeks and months following treatment the stem cells and growth factors help to form new collagen creating healthy skin that gives you a glow. These results can be seen from about 4 – 6 weeks after your treatment.
Published research shows that the best results are achieved by a series of 3 treatments, 4-6 weeks apart initially and then yearly thereafter. Most people report glowing skin that lasts for a year.
Am I a suitable candidate?
PRP rejuvenation is suitable for all skin types, colours, and ages. It is always best to be guided by your health practitioner in terms of what treatment will assist your needs the best. Before every PRP treatment you will have a consultation to develop your goals for treatment.
Do I have to stop other cosmetic/facial treatments?
No. PRP can be done in conjunction with any other cosmetic treatments. It is a great treatment to have done in conjunction with anti-wrinkle injections to give an amazing overall glow.
Depending on the treatment, we may recommend a few days between certain procedures – though this would be discussed at your consultation.