PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. It consists of a high concentration of platelets suspended in plasma. A PRP treatment is an outpatient aesthetic treatment that a medical esthetician can apply to the face, neck, chest, and the back of the hands. It works by stimulating the production of elastin and collagen to fight premature skin aging, dark circles, hair loss, and facial scarring.
Platelets play an important role in tissue repair and regeneration. PRP is created by extracting blood into a tube, then putting the tube in a centrifuge to separate it into different parts. Once the medical esthetician obtains the PRP, they mix it with some active substances such as, for example, Biotin (vitamin H) and administer it to the skin or scalp of a patient using a number of microinjections injections. Adverse effects like allergic reactions are ruled out because PRP is made with the patient’s own blood. The only added ingredient is a calcium compound. It activates and releases the growth factors in the platelets, which are key elements of the treatment.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GROWTH FACTORS IN A PRP TREATMENT
Each Platelet Rich Plasma injection contains an estimated 3.3 million platelets, which in turn contain a large number of growth factors. Different growth factors have different functions. Some cause regeneration of blood vessels. Others favor the appearance of new tissue, stimulate cell regeneration, or reduce inflammation. So, growth factors essentially rebuild and repair damaged tissue, and PRP has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
WHAT CAN A PRP TREATMENT DO
A PRP treatment can be used to treat sun exposure-related damage. It can help sagging, dull, or coarse skin by restoring elasticity and increasing luminosity. The treatment also improves fine wrinkles. PRP can treat alopecia, or hair loss, by increasing the thickness of existing hair and causing new hair to appear.
PRP treatments are recommended for mature skin that has lost collagen and its ability to regenerate. But a PRP treatment is also useful for younger skin as a preventive measure.
HOW DO MEDICAL ESTHETICIANS CARRY OUT A PRP TREATMENT?
PRP treatment is a type of ambulatory care, so it can be done in a dermatologist’s office. After cleaning the treatment area, the medical esthetician applies a skin numbing cream, such as, for example, EMLA cream.
They then extract a small amount of blood and put it in a centrifuge. This separates the blood in the tube into three parts. The red blood cells are at the bottom. A yellowish liquid that is plasma is at the top. The whitish layer between the two that is composed of white blood cells and platelets. There is an increase in the density of the plasma that is closest to the red blood cells compared to the plasma at the top. Most of the platelets are found in this fraction of the plasma. That’s why it’s called Platelet Rich Plasma.
The medical esthetician activates the PRP and then administers it using a number of microinjections.
The growth factors take time to stimulate the tissue, so you won’t see the full effect until 20 to 30 days later. The number of sessions will depend on the condition of the skin, but the usual protocol is three sessions, spaced a month apart. Post-treatment care includes nourishing skin with a hydrating facial mask and, most importantly, protecting it from the sun. Maintenance usually involves a yearly visit for another PRP treatment.
Should you wish to learn more about PRP facial, please read my blog post “PRP Injection for Face“.
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