Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is derived from your own blood and can be used in facial rejuvenation treatments to increase collagen production, aid in tissue regeneration, and improve the overall appearance of the skin.
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Along with red blood cells and white blood cells, plasma and platelets are two of the components of your blood. Through centrifugation, you can separate whole blood into its parts, including plasma that is rich in platelets. PRP contains several growth factors which can aid in regenerating tissue and skin, forming new collagen, and regrowing blood vessels.
It has already been used extensively in orthopedic, maxillofacial, and cardiothoracic surgery as well as wound care. And due to its properties, its applications have more recently been extended to dermatological and cosmetic uses, such as:
It is theorized that injecting platelet rich plasma for dermatological reasons causes mild inflammation, which triggers a healing response. This healing response and concentration of growth factors found in the platelets then results in new collagen being formed, an increase in the production of hyaluronic acid, and an increase in skin thickness.
By using this natural healing response, PRP allows a less invasive approach to improving the appearance and overall health of skin.
PRP can be used in the following ways:
Although PRP injections can be a standalone treatment, according to the limited studies that have been conducted it seems to have a greater effect when it is combined with other treatments.
Once the PRP has been prepared, it can be used as a treatment on its own. When the PRP is injected back into the areas you wish to target, it can create a “filler” effect by triggering new collagen and tissue formation as well as stimulating cell growth.
Microneedling creates tiny punctures or micro-injuries to the skin, which on its own can help stimulate collagen production by triggering the wound response and help break up fibrous tissue, particularly in scars.
Microneedling is done using either a mechanized microneedle device or a manual dermaroller.
A dermaroller has hundreds of 1 to 3 mm stainless steel needles arranged in lines on a plastic cylinder and is rolled over the face by hand.
A mechanized, automatic microneedle device, or microneedling pen, uses a replaceable cartridge that contains multiple fine stainless steel needles. The device can be programmed and then controls how deep and how frequently the needles penetrate.
During PRP with microneedling, the PRP is applied and spread over the skin either during or just after the microneedling so the skin can absorb it.
By combining the collagen-inducing effects of microneedling with the growth factors present in the PRP, studies have shown that PRP and microneedling can cause a greater improvement in the skin when used in combination by allowing the skin to take up more of the PRP.
You may have seen PRP with microneedling also advertised as a “PRP Facial” or a “Vampire Facial™.” Vampire Facial™ means that licensed practitioners of the brand have to follow specific protocols in order to advertise it as such but the basic technique being used is PRP with microneedling.
PRP can also be injected into the facial skin along with dermal fillers, such as hyaluronic acid fillers, Botox, and other dermal augmentation agents.
The PRP and dermal fillers may be layered. It is hypothesized that the combination of the two treatments produces more effective results because the dermal fillers provide an instant way to “fill” and correct the volume of the skin, while the PRP uses the filler as a “scaffold” to bind to and jumpstart the skin and tissue’s ability to regenerate.
The Vampire Facelift™ was coined and branded based on the technique of using PRP and dermal fillers in combination. You may also see the treatment combination referred to as “plasma lifting” or “vampire lifting.”
Laser skin resurfacing uses lasers to improve the texture of the skin. Ablative laser resurfacing removes the outermost layer of skin, thereby stimulating the dermal layer underneath and collagen production.
Fractional ablative lasers break the laser energy into thousands of tiny beams. This allows a small fraction of the skin to be treated at once rather than removing the skin over a larger area. The fractional laser essentially vaporizes the tissue and leaves several tiny holes in the skin.
Because there is a mixture of treated skin surrounded by healthy skin, fractional lasers allow for quicker healing than conventional laser resurfacing. However, fractional ablative lasers can still create prolonged redness (erythema), hyperpigmentation, and scarring.
When PRP has been used in combination with fractional laser skin resurfacing, studies have shown that the PRP can both help further shorten the duration of redness and speed up healing time.
Although fat transfer has already been used more extensively in body contouring, it’s more recently been used as a method for facial rejuvenation.
Facial fat transfer uses your own fat (taken from another area on the body) to re-plump areas of the face that have lost volume or have depressions due to acne or trauma scarring.
Some studies have indicated that adding PRP to fat grafting can increase the survival rate of the grafted fat, help retain and maintain the fat volume, and help reduce the rate of revisions.
Studies for PRP for skin rejuvenation have been promising but there is no standardized protocol for preparation techniques, how often PRP should be applied, what indicates successful outcomes, nor when is the best time for a follow-up to view final results.
However, since PRP uses your own blood, allergic reactions are limited and side effects are greatly reduced.
You will need to speak to a specialist to make sure PRP is a suitable treatment for you. Contraindications for having the treatment include: blood disorders, cancer, severe metabolic and systemic disorders as well as heavy use of drugs, alcohol, or nicotine.
Since PRP is made using your own blood, the first step is to draw a small amount of blood from you. To separate the components of the blood, it will be placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood at a speed rapid enough to separate your blood into red blood cells, platelet-poor plasma, and platelet-rich plasma. The PRP is used and the other components discarded.
Depending on the protocol your chosen clinic uses, your blood may be spun in the centrifuge again to further distill the platelet-rich plasma. Also a platelet activator may be added. From there, the PRP is placed in a syringe to be injected or applied topically (a syringe without a needle is used).
Your skin may be cleansed and a topical anaesthesia applied.
The steps of your treatment will differ depending on if you are having PRP as a standalone treatment or having it in combination with another treatment.
For standalone PRP, PRP with dermal fillers, and PRP with fat transfer, the PRP is injected. For PRP with microneedling and with laser therapies, the PRP is applied to the skin topically.
You may have some swelling, redness, tingling, numbness (from the topical anaesthesia), or tenderness after your PRP session. Follow your specialist’s instructions about applying any cleansers, moisturizers, makeup, or sunscreen following your treatment.
You will likely see improvement in your skin from your PRP treatment after 3 weeks, however, it can take up to 3 months for full collagen regeneration. Results will vary based on the severity of the issues you want to address with the PRP and how you care for your skin afterwards but can last up to 18 months for some people.
After your initial consultation, your specialist will discuss with you how many sessions of PRP you may need and if they suggest combining treatments to achieve the greatest results for you.
The price for PRP depends on what treatment you need. Get in touch with us and we'll go through your options together!
Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment (PRP) in Dermatology is offered in 7 countries
In Cologne from € 590
In Frankfurt am Main from € 590
In Hamburg from € 590
In Munich from € 590