Aesthetic medicine has always been aimed at harnessing the body's own healing and restorative processes to rejuvenate the skin. Laser treatments encourage the skin to produce new, clearer skin and stimulate collagen growth with the heat. Skin creams are designed to help boost and support the skin's natural healing and renewal processes. If we can’t get the body to respond the way we would like, we use substitutions like dermal fillers to add volume and Botox to smooth wrinkles. This leads into why platelet-rich plasma treatments, or PRP, is revolutionary to cosmetic medicine.
As most everyone knows, the human body has an amazing, natural ability to heal itself. PRP has actually been around for quite some time for other medical uses. It was first used in 1987 in an open-heart surgery and has been used for many years to help heal wounds and encourage quicker healing in the treatment of surgical recovery, ulcers, torn ligaments, sports injuries…and the list goes on.
Recently, PRP therapy was finally introduced as a method of rejuvenation for the skin. It helps to accelerate normal cell renewal and healing processes by stimulating collagen formation for volume, increasing blood supply, and stimulating our natural repair system which can clear wrinkles, scars, and dark spots. So how does it work?
One of the body’s first response to any injury is to immediately begin delivering platelet cells. Platelets are filled with growth and healing factors that kick off the repair process. When PRP is injected into the skin, it activates skin components that plays a key role in maintaining skin integrity and youthfulness. What do I love about this the most? We are using our own perfectly natural mechanism – but amplified - by concentrating the platelets and increasing our healing ability. Regenerative, natural anti-aging.
How is the treatment performed?
The PRP treatment involves drawing your own blood from the veins in your arm. This blood is placed in a centrifuge which spins to separate the platelets from the other blood components.
The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the face in multiple injections and used on the surface with micro needling to help the platelets penetrate the skin.
After a treatment you may start seeing results after 2-3 weeks, but the results are gradual and the skin will continue to improve as the process of renewal can go on for up to a year after the treatment. Repeat treatments are necessary for best results - a package of 6 treatments at 4-6 week intervals is recommended to maximize the regenerative properties of the procedure.
Overall, the treatment is very safe as we are using your own blood and healing properties. The skin is being encouraged to renew itself, so you will have more youthful, firmer skin, with no chance of looking unnatural from any “overcorrecting”. It can help to improve dark circles, bags under your eyes, fine lines, wrinkles, and improving an overall glow.
As I mentioned, I don’t get too excited about many things – but PRP is one of them. Natural, regenerative anti-aging – it doesn’t get much better! If you are interested in trying PRP, get in contact with us today. As always, we offer free consultations for your skin care needs.
--Jean Gustafson, MD