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  • Writer's pictureDr Adama Luca

Is Platelet-Rich Plasma the secret to eternal youth?

Updated: Apr 25

What is PRP?

PRP stands for Platelet-Rich Plasma. PRP therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that utilises and boosts the natural growth factors found in our blood cells to help heal damaged tissue. It is currently being used in many areas of medicine including aesthetic medicine, orthopaedics, gynaecology, dermatology, and surgery.




PRP has been around for decades, gaining more popularity in the last 10 to 15 years. Available research into it's efficacy is mostly focused on orthopaedics although other areas are evolving.

PRP is currently used to treat different parts of the body and addresses ageing and inflammation including:

·        Wrinkles and deep creases

·        Sagging skin

·        Dull complexion

·        Acne scars

·        Bone and tendon problems

·        Hair Restoration

·        Genital rejuvenation




How is PRP performed?

PRP treatment is carried out by taking a patient’s blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to separate the different components, and then injecting the plasma back into the area to be treated. This plasma contains platelets which are rich in growth factors, these help to stimulate the proliferation and regeneration of various tissues and tissue-derived cells leading to rejuvenation. Plasma is the transparent fluid that carries your blood cells. 

The process takes about an hour and results may be seen around 6 weeks. The Plasma can be injected with needles or used in combination with other treatments like microneedling. 3 to 6 sessions are usually needed for the initial treatment, however, PRP needs to be repeated annually.


Is PRP safe?

PRP carries less risk when compared to other procedures like dermal filler because it utilises the patient's blood product which is re-injected back into the areas to be treated. However, it is important to ensure that this procedure is carried out by a medical professional who is adequately trained and insured.


How soon can I see results?

Results of PRP can be seen around 6 weeks after the first treatment. 3 to 6 treatments 4 weeks apart are recommended. Results vary in individuals and various factors like severity of problem and platelet count can affect the results. Some people notice improvements sooner while others may notice results later but it is expected that by the third session you should see some results if PRP is likely to work for you.

Results after 2 sessions of PRP


How much does PRP cost?

In the UK, the cost of PRP can range anywhere between £200 to £2000 depending on how many sessions, location and who is carrying out the procedure. While it ranges from $300 to $3000 in the US depending on the state, sessions, and other factors.



Who can have PRP?

PRP is considered safe in most people but there are certain medical conditions whereby PRP is not recommended. This should always be discussed at initial consultation. Platelet count and the quality of the plasma and centrifuge are also other factors to be considered.


Conclusion

Popularity in PRP is growing and there is excitement about its potential in regenerative medicine however, there remains some controversies and conflicting results into its efficacy. More research into this area is needed because larger human studies that are well controlled are still lacking.


Have you had PRP? Or do you know someone who has had PRP? What do you think about PRP? Leave your comments below.


 References


1. PRP centrifuge: A high-quality desktop model for small batch applications [Internet]. [cited 2024 Apr 21]. Available from: https://www.prppure.com/centrifuge/


2. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections in sports [Internet]. Yale Medicine; 2023 [cited 2024 Apr 21]. Available from: https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/platelet-rich-plasma-injections


3. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection: How it works: HSS [Internet]. [cited 2024 Apr 21]. Available from: https://www.hss.edu/condition-list_prp-injections.asp


4. Pretorius J, Habash M, Ghobrial B, Alnajjar R, Ellanti P. Current status and advancements in platelet-rich plasma therapy. Cureus. 2023 Oct 17; doi:10.7759/cureus.47176


5. Cole BJ, Seroyer ST, Filardo G, Bajaj S, Fortier LA. Platelet-rich plasma: Where are we now and where are we going? Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach. 2010 Apr 29;2(3):203–10. doi:10.1177/1941738110366385


6. Mościcka P, Przylipiak A. History of autologous platelet‐rich plasma: A short review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2021 Jul 14;20(9):2712–4. doi:10.1111/jocd.14326



 

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