Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP): Facial and Skin Rejuvenation
Platelets are cells in the body which initially respond to trauma by initiating a clotting cascade to stop bleeding. In addition, platelets also initiate the healing process by releasing various cytokines and growth factors which stimulate would healing and collagen formation.
FGF (Fibroblast growth factor): Tissue repair, cell growth, collagen production
PDGF(Platelet derived growth factor): Cell growth, collagen production, repair of blood vessels
VEGF (Vascular endothelial growth factor): Growth and generation of blood vessels
TGF-B (Transforming growth factor-beta): Promotion of wound healing
KGF (Keratinocyte Growth Factor): Growth and new generation of keratinocyte
EGF (Epidermal growth factor): Promotion of wound healing and collagen productioni
Platelets have been used extensively in medicine to help with wound healing after surgery and are now being used to regenerate skin through the process of collagen induction.
Platelets are isolated from the blood stream by drawing blood and filtering the blood through a specialized filter using a centrifuge. The red blood cells are removed leaving a clear layer called the platelet rich plasma or PRP. The PRP is then applied to the desired areas using microneedling or directly injected into the area.
PRP systems vary widely in their yield and purity of Platelet Rich Plasms. The Eclipse system uses patented technology to provide a high volume of high concentration PRP making it a very effective system to generate PRP. The process is very straightforward and involves a simple blood draw and 10 minute centrifuge cycle.
Once purified, the PRP is used to treat the skin and applied with microneedling or directly injected into the area. Microneedling options include dermal rollers and/or specialized devices such as the SkinPen, Dermapen, or MicroPen. These devices are rolled or glided over the skin making small holes in the skin of variable depths: 0.5mm to 2.5mm. The holes or microchannels provide a conduit where PRP can be delivered to the deeper skin layers: reticular dermis. Microneedling also provides a stimulus for collagen production: collagen induction therapy. This microneedling collagen induction effect is enhanced with PRP which also stimulates collagen production as outlined above.
PRP can also be injected directly into the treatment area where it promotes collagen production. This can be done with needles or microcannulas such as the SoftFil microcannulas. Microcannulas are much less painful and have the benefit of being safer and less traumatic to the tissues. With microcannulas there is less bleeding, bruising, swelling and much faster recovery. Microcannulas are also extremely precise in delivering PRP to the treatment areas.
PRP has tremendous application to rejuvenation the skin and body. On the face, the combination of microneedling and PRP improves skin tone, texture, pore size, color, and wrinkles. For deeper wrinkles such as around the eyes, PRP can be injected with a microcannula for added benefit.
PRP can also be used off the face in difficult to treat areas such as the neck, chest/decolletage. With several treatments, PRP can stimulate enough collgen to improve neck wrinkles and rejuvenate the discolored and creepy skin on the anterior chest.
PRP can be injected under the skin of the hands to promote collagen formation and improve the skin on the back of the hands. This is a problematic area for many patients who concentrate on their faces but have the telltale marker of age: older looking hands.
Other applications for PRP include:
Treatment of thinning hair or receding hairlines: PRP is injected into the scalp
Treatment of stretchmarks and acne or surgical scars: PRP is combined with microneedling
Added to a plastic surgical procedure such as facelift or tummy tuck to improve healing/recovery
For vaginal rejuvenation and sexual health
In summary, platelet is a simple procedure with low risk and tremendous potential to rejuvenation. The treatment can be repeated periodically to maintain and reverse the aging process.
Dr. John L. Burns, Jr. MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
President, Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute