What is PRP and how does it work for rejuvenation?

PRP stands for Platelets Rich Plasma. The PRP method is a minimally invasive treatment that stimulates the body’s own tissue regeneration. Clinical data shows that PRP promotes tissue healing by releasing a large amount of growth factors from the platelets in the treated area. Each growth factor has a unique role in stimulating biochemical pathways that promote skin repair. Together, they create a synergistic effect for maximal regenerative results. 

PRP has been used for years in orthopaedics and sports medicine to aid healing of injured or damaged muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and pain control. PRP is widely used in aesthetics, where the natural components of your own body are harnessed to promote skin rejuvenation. 

How is PRP Created & Applied? 

PRP is made from your own blood. A small amount of blood is taken from a vein and centrifuged. Only plasma with a very high concentration of thrombocytes and leukocytes is extracted from the blood by centrifugation. The highly concentrated plasma “PRP” obtained is then re-injected at the desired location with very small needles. Depending on the type and location of the area to be treated, the doctor may use a mild anaesthetic as the treatment may be uncomfortable to some patients. 

How Does It Work? 

The many platelets in PRP contain a high proportion of various growth factors and cytokines. The release of these factors leads to a tissue regenerative effect. Stem cells, fibroblasts and leukocytes are stimulated to multiply. There is also an increased production of Collagen, and an existing inflammation is reduced by changing the cytokine balance. In short, new skin/tissue is formed. 

Side Effects 

After treatment, injection-related reactions such as swelling, redness, pink discolouration and slight pressure sensitivity may occur at the injection sites. These are normal reactions to the treatment. These usually disappear by themselves within 24 hours. 

Possible Risks & Complications 

A major advantage of this treatment is that no foreign substance is used – we use the patient’s own growth factors from his or her own blood reducing the risk of a reaction to the treatment. 

Skin infections occur very rarely. If you experience severe pain after treatment, you should contact your doctor immediately. A skin infection can be treated with antibiotics or antivirals. 

As with all procedures there is a risk of some side effects and/or complications. These are rare, but you should be aware of them before your treatment. They include: 

  • Inflammation at the site of the injection
  • Pain at the site of the injection
  • Bleeding and/or bruising
  • Infection at the site of the injection
  • Skin discolouration
  • Allergic reaction to the local anaesthetic drug
  • Inefficacy or failure to achieve desired result

Frequency of Treatment 

The PRP treatment can be repeated as often as desired depending on the area and the condition to be treated. 

We normally advised treatment every 4-8 weeks, depending on the area and the condition to be treated. 

When will you see the first results 

The first signs of improvement can sometimes be seen after 1 month. Depending on the patient’s response, results may not be visible for up to 4 months. In rare cases PRP treatment may not work at all. 

Cautions & Contraindications 

Please inform your practitioner if: 

  • you are taking medication to thin your blood such as Warfarin, Aspirin, Apixaban or anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen
  • you are taking isotretinoin
  • you are taking oral or topical steroids
  • have ever suffered with Herpes Simplex/Cold Sores
  • you suffer from an allergy (especially local anaesthetics)
  • have an active skin infection
  • have a broken skin barrier
  • have active Acne, Eczema or Psoriasis on the area to be treated
  • you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • you have a platelet dysfunction
  • You have been diagnosed with a skin cancer or malignant tumour
  • you suffer from an autoimmune disease

Post Treatment 

  • Pain – If used, the local anaesthetic will wear off in the next 1 to 2 hours. You may take simple pain relief for such as paracetamol (as long as you are not taking anything else containing paracetamol) every 4-6 hours if you feel the area is uncomfortable (do not exceed eight 500mg tablets in 24 hours). 
  • During the first 24–48 hours after treatment you will experience redness, swelling and tenderness in the treated areas. These responses are normal and resolve quickly and spontaneously over the next 2-4 days. 
  •  After 72 hours you can apply light water-based or mineral makeup where necessary.
  •  Drink plenty of cold water for 48 hours after the procedure.
  •  Bruising at the site of injection is also common and usually clears completely in 1-10 days.

Aftercare Advice 

  • Do not wash the treated area on the day of treatment. Starting the morning after your treatment, you can wash the area gently with a mild cleanser twice daily. After seven days, you may return to your regular skin care routine.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, hot drinks and spicy food for 24 hours, as these may exacerbate bruising and swelling.
  • Avoid medications such as Aspirin or Nurofen for 1-2 weeks as they are blood thinning agents and may exacerbate bruising (if these medications have been advised by your GP please check with your GP before stopping them)
  • Avoid supplements such as multivitamins, fish oils, glucosamine and Vitamin B or Vitamin E, which are blood thinning agents and may exacerbate bruising for 1-2 weeks (if these supplements have been advised by your GP please check with your GP before stopping them) 
  • Avoid exercise/exertion for 72 hours post treatment 
  • Avoid saunas, steam rooms and swimming for 72 hours post treatment 
  • Apply ice frequently (wrapped in a towel) as required to the area injected for up to 6 hours after the treatment. This will prevent or help to alleviate any bruising. It will also help to reduce any swelling.
  • You can use Arnica cream and arnica tablets to help alleviate any bruising. 
    NOTE: bruises can last 1-10 days. They are TEMPORARY and will disappear over time. Once bruising has formed (within the first 48 hours) it is better to apply warmth to the area to encourage the body’s natural reabsorption of the bruise from the skin. 
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