Platelet-Rich Plasma treatments, also known as PRP, are a dermatology procedure that use the patient’s own blood to treat several dermatological conditions. While PRP has only emerged as a dermatological treatment over the past few years, it has long been used to treat athletes with muscle, tendon, ligament, and joint injuries. This regenerative treatment uses the body’s natural processes to improve health and appearance. Patients with hair loss, scarring, wrinkles, aging skin, and more can benefit from PRP treatments.
Your blood is made up of blood cells and platelets that reside in a liquid called plasma. Plasma is primarily made of water and proteins. It carries blood cells and platelets throughout the body, helping to maintain your health. Platelets are blood cells, also called thrombocytes, that are directly involved in your natural healing processes, building blood clots and supporting other functions.
During a Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment, your dermatologist draws some of your blood and uses a centrifuge machine to separate the rest of your collected blood from the platelet-rich plasma. Once prepared, this plasma is then re-injected into your body, this time at the area targeted for treatment. Your re-applied platelets begin to break down, triggering growth processes that encourage your cells to repair and increase new cell production. Your cells’ growth factors restore your skin to better health and a more youthful appearance, all through natural processes.
PRP treatment is used in numerous fields to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions. In dermatology, doctors target skin aging, hair loss, and scarring. You may benefit from Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment if you have:
There are some conditions that prevent patients from using PRP treatments, which will be discussed by your doctor. These conditions include:
First, you’ll need to meet with your dermatologist for a formal exam. During this initial appointment, your doctor will determine if your conditions make you a good candidate for PRP treatment. If so, you’ll schedule an appointment for your treatment. Your dermatologist will likely recommend that you stop taking any medications that can thin your blood, such as ibuprofen or aspirin. You may also need to discontinue certain vitamins and supplements. These requirements will be covered during your first appointment.
During your PRP treatment, your dermatologist will follow the process above, removing and preparing your blood and plasma. They will then numb the targeted area before reinjecting your plasma. Your treatment may include several injections, depending on your needs and the size of the treated area.
After the procedure, you may experience some redness and swelling in the treated area. Some patients have also reported slight bruising and soreness in the hours following treatment. You should see results several weeks after your procedure, though it may take up to six months for improvements. Some conditions also require repeated treatments for optimal results.