What is PRP?
PRP is a concentration derived from your own blood. It has lots of good growth factors that stimulate hair growth when injected into the scalp.
Not all PRP for hair loss is created equal. When it comes to stopping hair loss, a 5-10 concentration of platelets is best. Achieving this concentration requires more sophisticated and expensive technology than a simple centrifuge. Depending on the intended use, PRP may or may not contain red or white blood cells. But, by definition, PRP contains a concentration of platelets that is higher than your blood.
HOW IS PRP CREATED?
Creation of PRP is simple, painless, and conveniently done at an office visit. The entire process of drawing blood to solution preparation only takes approximately 2 minutes. A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient, just like a routine blood test. Once the blood is drawn it is then placed into a centrifuge. The centrifuge is a machine that spins the blood at high speeds in order to separate the blood into red blood cells and concentrated platelets. Once the blood is separated the red blood cells are discarded, and we are left with concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) which is ready to be used in the treatment process. We can use in hair loss, pigmentation, wrinkles and burn scar as well.
What causes hair loss?
It’s important to first understand a few basics about the biology of hereditary hair loss. Chemical messages controlled by hair loss genes signal hair follicle stem cell activity to wind down over a period of time. Ultimately, the follicles dwindle resulting in thinning hair or baldness.
WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO FEEL BETTER?
The benefit to PRP therapy is that unlike other treatments it has a sustained outcome and is categorized as a permanent fix. The timeframe for experiencing results is dependent upon the area of injury and the extent of the injury. On average, most patients start to see signs of improvement in the form of reduced pain or increased function within four to six weeks. Continuing a well-designed course of physical therapy and avoidance of aggressive physical activity or overloading the injected tissues is advised in the weeks that follow the injections. This is done to allow the tissues to heal best.
ARE THERE RISKS WITH PRP?
Overall, PRP is an especially safe treatment option with no risk of allergic reaction because it is your own blood. However, anytime a needle is placed in the body, there is a risk of infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. These risks do not happen often, and are very rare. Other risks depend on the area being treated. If you are unsure of the risks of your specific condition, consult your physician. In general, PRP is not considered a first line treatment and is usually considered after other more traditional treatments have failed.
Some of the conditions that PRP may be able to help treat include:
- Male pattern hair loss\
- Androgenetic alopecia
- Female pattern hair loss
- Androgenic alopecia
- Thinning hair
Is this the right option for me?
There is a possibility that you may not be able to take advantage of PRP therapy. If you are a heavy smoker, drinker, or take drugs, these can give you undesirable effects if you undergo PRP therapy. Furthermore, if you have chronic skin disease, cancer, metabolic disorders, and certain blood disorders, you may not be eligible either. You can speak with our Largo hair restoration experts for advice on determining whether or not you are a good candidate.
The benefits of PRP therapy are enormous and if you are eligible, you can greatly benefit from such a treatment.
Face Plate Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP stands for ‘Platelet Rich Plasma’ and it produces a rejuvenating and tightening effect on your skin. PRP therapy uses ‘platelet-rich plasma’, (your own platelets and plasma taken from a small sample of your blood), to stimulate collagen and improve the skin’s texture and elasticity. This is great for thin crepey skin, especially around the eyes, neck, décolletage, full face and hands. You will generally need one treatment per month for 3-4 months.
The treatment itself takes about an hour. A course of treatments involves 3-4 appointments spaced 1 month apart and results can be maintained with a single repeat treatment every 6-12 months.
It is a very safe treatment – primarily because we are using your own blood so there is no chance of an allergic reaction or serious side-effects. However compared to Botox there usually is a more prolonged “downtime” and for this reason we would not recommend having the treatment within the 3-4 weeks before a special event. Swelling and redness of the treated areas is common and may be dramatic – eg around the eyes, although usually only for 24 hours. Some bruising is also to be expected and although this can be covered with make-up after the initial 24 hour period it may take 1-2 weeks to clear completely.
What is PRP?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is “harvested” from your own blood. This is done by collecting a small volume of your blood (much like having a blood test) and spinning it down to separate the red blood cells from the platelet cells. This resulting PRP is introduced back under the skin by a series of tiny injections. Treatment with PRP is not new to the world; it has been recognized for its accelerated wound-healing properties in surgery and sports injuries for some time.
Platelets are the “sticky glue” that stop bleeding when you hurt yourself. Their other job is to promote wound healing and repair by attracting growth cells.
PRP treatment produces a rejuvenating and tightening effect on your skin, giving it a healthy, youthful glow.
It is ideal for: …
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Textural improvement
- Dull dry skin
- Hair-growth stimulation (in those with thinning hair)
…and is used in the following areas:
- Full-face rejuvenation
- Crêpey neck
- Eye area (both upper and lower eyelids)
- Backs of hands
- Other body areas
The process takes around an hour. The skin area(s) to be treated are numbed with a topical anaesthetic cream.
You can expect to have some redness, swelling and bruising, subsiding quickly over the following 4-7 days.
The initial treatment for PRP is one treatment a month for 3 to 4 months, then repeat treatments either 6-monthly or 12-monthly, depending on your skin and results.
As PRP is made up of your own blood products there is no risk of allergy, rejection or serious long-term side effects.
PRP is contraindicated if you smoke, have cancer, a poor diet or lifestyle, have chronic disease, or a poor platelet count
How long do results last?
Treatment results vary, but once tissue has been regenerated and remodelled, that benefit may be permanent. However, as we continue to age, the problem areas eventually reappear. It is thought that this occurs over 9-18 months after a single treatment (although everyone is different). Touch-up treatments will maintain the results.
What is the treatment process of facial rejuvenation with PRP?
The Doctor will assess the degree of skin aging, perform a skin analysis, and recommend a sensible treatment plan, discussing expected treatment outcomes, efficacy and safety. The number of treatment sessions that will be required is discussed, as well as the cost of those sessions.
A photograph of the skin is taken to assist the follow-up and grading of the improvement.
Prior to treatment, a blood sample of 10 or 25mls is taken from your arm. The 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 plasma, rich in platelets, is then extracted.
The PRP is then injected into the skin. Adequate pain relief is usually achieved with local anaesthetic cream although anaesthetic injections can also be used.
PRP facial rejuvenation can be a one-off treatment, but for the best results a course of treatments is performed at 4 weekly intervals to inject fresh platelets and restart the regeneration.
What are the side-effects of PRP facial rejuvenation?
Expect some swelling and redness for 12-24 hours. Expect some small bruises. A bruise at the blood-taking site may be visible for 2-3 days.
How do I prepare for PRP?
If you want results then DO NOT SMOKE. Do not use illegal drugs, avoid excess alcohol and definitely stay off aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs for two weeks before and six weeks after treatment. If you supplement with omega 3 fatty acids (such as fish, krill or flax seed oil), you should also stop them during the same period.
Expectations and after-care for PRP
Immediately after treatment, you will see and feel swelling from the injected fluid. Once the swelling has subsided you will see a slight improvement in your skin. Over a few weeks the platelets will stimulate growth factors, and you will start to see improvement in the tone and texture of the skin. The neck is slower to improve than the face.
Results become visible at 3 weeks and increase gradually over ensuing months with improvement in the skin’s texture and tone.
Light dermal rolling will enhance the results. Minimal improvement can be expected if you are a heavy user of drugs, alcohol or tobacco.
Advanced wrinkling and severe scarring may not respond well.
Who cannot use PRP?
SMOKERS. Drug and heavy alcohol users all get poor results. The tar from cigarettes in particular inhibits growth factor production.
This treatment is not recommended for people with platelet or clotting disorders; sepsis or any form of acute or chronic infection; or if you have severe systemic disease, metastatic cancer or severe liver disease.