Is PRP an Effective Treatment for Skin Damaged by Laser?
Doctor Answers 5
PRP can improve skin damaged from lasers, but it usually takes more than one treatment
I can certainly give you my perspective as someone who uses PRP a lot in my practice. A little background, I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I’ve been in practice in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years and I can tell you that platelet-rich plasma has been a huge part of my practice. I’m the founder of TrichoStem™ Hair Regeneration Centers where we use platelet-rich plasma in addition to a material called extracellular matrix for hair loss.
The question is very relevant because I actually treat a lot of people who have had damage from laser or thermal energy devices. There has been a tremendous interest in non-surgical alternatives to face lifting procedures and skin rejuvenation, and with that, it has come a lot of technologies. We can overheat the skin which can cause at different levels some type of burning.
To understand the role of platelet-rich plasma in this type of treatment, as well as other modalities I employ, we need to understand what happens when skin is damaged by laser or other thermal energy devices. When someone has damaged skin, very often their skin is very thin because they’ve lost tissue: they lost the epidermis, lost dermis, the tissue underneath, the fat cells, and the supporting tissue is also diminished.
Platelet-rich plasma stimulates the formation of collagen, and the development of blood vessels. Basically, everything used for wound healing is something stimulated by platelet-rich plasma. I routinely use platelet-rich plasma, and I’ve helped patients such as one that comes to mind a lot, someone who has recurrent infection in the face from an unfortunate situation with something called biofilm.
I think there’s an opportunity for PRP to help you, but it is difficult to restore skin to its pretreatment appearance. It’s possible to improve the skin with platelet-rich plasma treatment, whether it’s for repair, or maintenance. PRP therapy is kind of like going to the gym and building muscle - you stimulate, you recover, you’re a little better, then you stimulate again.
When you think about platelet-rich plasma, don’t think of it as a one off, single procedure -think of it as a part of a global plan to help restore and revitalize the skin. It often takes multiple sessions i to get a good outcome that helps your skin improve, but I can tell you it has been remarkable, and something we have had tremendous success with. It all depends on where you start and the kind of observations we make as we’re doing these treatments. The key is to build up and restore tissue, so I often would combine it with other modalities. When you talk about sagging, are you talking about skin excess or about skin quality. If we’re talking about skin quality, PRP can help. If you’re talking about skin excess, the only way to improve sagging is to lift.
You also have to think about other ways to improve the skin in appearance. In our practice, we do something called structural volumizing where we are putting the material that was typically used for injectables such as a hyaluronic acid filler, we place it at the level of the bone structure. In that way, we are able to restore volume that looks healthy and balanced, but without putting stress on the skin. Typically injectables are placed either within the skin in the dermis or under the skin. Unfortunately, when the skin has been thinned, that doesn’t end up as such a great thing. When fillers are placed at the structural level, it can really make a difference.
Meet with doctors who perform PRP and get a sense of what they can offer you. Often, my strategy is more comprehensive strategy where a person gets a negative outcome from laser treatment, or a thermal energy device or something where heat resulted in a loss of tissue. There are a lot of ways to address these problems as they always customized. Ultimately, you want to be happy with how you look both in the short-term and the long-term. It’s not unusual for me to suggest not only PRP but fillers and other things to help you look better immediately. It’s something where you can actually feel good from the beginning rather than to keep waiting for the effects of the PRP to really maximize. I hope that was helpful, I wish you the best of luck and thank you for your question!
PRP TREATMENT FOR SKIN
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