Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP injection) is also called Autologous Cellular Regeneration (ACR). It is a completely natural approach to skin rejuvenation using your body’s own cells – a type of stem cell therapy specifically for your skin.
Imagine regenerating your skin with your own body’s chemistry and cells – no drugs, no artificial products. This is Platlet-rich Plasma.
PRP injections can be used on areas of your face and body where the skin is thinning or sagging, where there are age spots, wrinkling, or thin, empty tissue.
A quantity of your own blood is collected and passed through a special process. This separates plasma containing a high concentration of blood platelets that are particularly rich in their ability to heal and restore. The plasma is then injected into the areas to be treated.
Because a PRP injection is regeneration using your own cells, it is an excellent therapy to use as a component of increasingly popular Combination Therapy. In this way, it can strengthen the results of other anti-ageing treatments such as line and wrinkle relaxing injections and restoration of facial volume.
The process is usually repeated within 4-6 weeks, and then repeated once a year for maintenance.
Which facial and body areas can be treated with a PRP injection?
- Fine delicate skin around the eyes
- Cheeks and mid-face
- Jaw line
- Chest and décolletage
- Backs of hands and arms
Ageing of the skin, both on the surface and deep down, means that the skin texture and appearance deteriorate and dryness is a problem. Ageing affects the hands and the soft tissue of the face and body. This is characterised by sagging, thinning of the skin, puffiness, age spots, pigmented sun spots and wrinkling of the forehead, cheeks, neck and décolletage. Tissue on the arms becomes thin and empty. Sun exposure worsens the process by solar-ageing and UV irradiation.
PRP injections and skin rejuvenation can assist with the treatment of all these conditions.
For the separation of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a dedicated kit is used. The use of a specific filter and a centrifuge achieves a high platelet recovery rate of 97% or more and allows preparation of plasma with a high concentration of growth factor inducing platelets.
STEP 1. CONSULTATION
Dr Konrat and the Cosmetic Nurse practitioner will assess the degree of skin aging, perform a skin analysis, and recommend a sensible treatment with reasonable outcome.
Options of facial rejuvenation are explained to you, including efficacy and safety. Cost analysis is discussed and the number of sessions possibly required.
Persons between the ages of 30 and 80 years are eligible.
Almost all skin tones show that the process is safe and effective because your own enriched plasma is used, but not all grades of wrinkling can be improved.
A photograph of the skin is taken to assist the follow-up and grading of the improvement.
STEP 2. BLOOD COLLECTION
Prior to treatment a blood sample of 10 – 20 ml is extracted from the patient.
STEP 3. SEPARATION OF PLATELET COMPONENT
This blood is immediately placed in the centrifuge for 8 minutes. When centrifugation is complete your plasma will be separated from your red blood cells. The rich platelets are extracted ready for injection into the skin. Platelets gradually increase the amount of collagen produced which can increase skin thickness and overall health of the skin.
STEP 4. INJECTION OF PLATELET COMPONENT
The skin is cleansed and a clearsonic exfoliation is performed to gently exfoliate the ‘dead’ outer layer of the epidermis. Local aneasthetic cream is applied to the skin to ensure as much comfort as possible prior to the PRP injection.
By an injection technique, the PRP is injected into the skin under topical local anaesthesia. The forehead, peri-orbital region, cheeks, chins and dorsum of the hands, are the targets of aging and wrinkles, for rejuvenation. The process is tolerated providing sufficient topical anaesthesia is applied.
PRP facial rejuvenation can be a one off treatment, but further microinjections can be re-performed at 4 weekly intervals for lines and wrinkles if the client desires this.
This entire process and injection time is simple and takes approximately 1 hour in total.
Expectations for a PRP Treatment
Results are visible at 3 weeks and improve gradually over ensuing months with improvement in texture and tone.
Cosmeceuticals (biologically active skin care) and Light therapies can enhance the results.
Advanced wrinkling cannot be reversed and a minimal improvement is predictable in persons with drug, alcohol and tobacco usage. Severe scarring may not respond.
Further plasma treatment is also popular and safe. A PRP injection is effective and well tolerated, but patient selection is important if predictable results are to be expected.
Are results immediate?
No. Swelling from the fluid is what you will see and feel first. Once the swelling has subsided you will not see much change at all. Over a few weeks the Platelets will stimulate the growth factors which will assist in more collagen growth.
How many PRP treatments are required?
This will depend upon the health and age of your skin. Normally it is advised to have 2 – 3 treatments 4 weeks apart. However your clinician will determine your treatment protocol according to your skin condition.
How long do results last for?
Treatment results vary however in most patients the results last up to 18months. Repeat treatments will maintain the results as well.
Conditions where PRP is contra-indicated or not advised as suitable
- SMOKERS, Drug and Alcohol Users
- Platelet Dysfunction Syndrome
- Critical Thrombocytopenia
- Haemodynamic Instability
- Acute and Chronic Infections
- Chronic Liver Pathology
- Anti Coagulation Therapy
- Person with Skin Disease or Cancer
- Severe Metabolic and Systemic Disorders
Some mild bruising may occur. These signs may take 2-3 days to vanish. The corners of the mouth tend to bruise a little more. Transient redness, swelling, itching or discomfort may occur. In the case of a lip augmentation, the swelling can be considerable for a few days.
Occasionally some patients may notice some discoloration at the injection site. Typically, resolution is spontaneous, within one or two days of injection into the skin, and within a week after lip augmentation.
Temporary palpable lumpiness at the injection site may occur.
Joint pain or muscle pain or headache have been reported, but are unlikely.
Complications (What can go wrong?)
- If you have a history of cold sores in the treated area, filler injections may cause them to break out again. Your Doctor will give you a prescription for antiviral tablets that must be taken before and after the treatment.
- Immediate allergic type reactions: Prolonged redness, swelling, itching or hard lumps at the points of injection. Sometimes they can last for several months or longer, but this is extremely unusual.
Delayed allergic type reactions happen with a reported incidence of 1 in every 2,000 patients. Red lumps may appear underneath the skin many months later and are permanent in a small number of cases.
In very rare cases (less than 1 in 15,000 treatments) granuloma (lumpy tissue), superficial necrosis (skin death) and urticaria (red wheals) have been reported. These reactions generally start a few days after treatment, but can appear after 2 to 4 weeks. They are generally reported as mild to moderate and self-limiting, with an average duration of two weeks.
Conditions that will mean you cannot have this treatment:
- Active infection e.g. acne.
- Known allergy to Hyaluronic acid.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding (as there is no research data)
- All side effects and complications of treatment should be reported to your treating Doctor.