Platelet-rich plasma is found in the blood and contains proteins known as growth factors. These all-important proteins are needed to support cell growth and survival. First discovered in 1953, the doctors responsible were awarded a Nobel Prize – making PRP a treatment with some major scientific credentials.
Injecting one’s own plasma is commonly used by athletes to heal sports injuries, by surgeons to speed up recovery time post-surgery, and of course as an aesthetics treatment to rejuvenate the skin, scalp and hair.
“There is no limit on who can benefit from PRP,” clams Dr Sister, so read on to discover all there is to know about this high science, equal opportunity treatment…
What does a PRP treatment entail?A small amount of blood is taken from a vein in the arm in much the same way as when you have blood taken for a blood test. “The blood is placed into a centrifuge – a machine that spins the blood incredibly quickly – causing the different fraction of the blood to separate,” explains Sister.
The separation process takes about 15 minutes. “Once the plasma is ready it’s reinjected where it’s most needed which could be anywhere from the skin, joints, receding gums, or scalp,” adds Sister. However, when it comes to PRP ‘facials,’ many practitioners actually spread the plasma over the face and then use a microneedling device to open up ‘ports’ in the skin for the plasma to enter, while also creating a controlled micro injury that will further stimulate collagen production.
What can PRP do for your skin?PRP stimulates collagen and elastin production which thickens and tightens the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and improving the overall texture and tone of the skin, too. This makes it a great treatment for those wanting to youth boost their skin and anyone with acne scarring, melasma or hyperpigmentation, thanks to its regenerative abilities. “It also works especially well on hands, knees and elbows and even stretch marks. It can be mixed with dermal fillers to treat lines, administered during the same appointment as muscle relaxing injections for a lifting effect, and really tackle any skin related problem,” adds Sister.
What can PRP do for your hair?When injected into the scalp, PRP gets to work in the bulge area of our hair follicles – this area is home to most of the hair follicles' stem cells. The addition of growth factors from the plasma helps stimulate activity and promote new hair growth. This makes it an effective treatment for people who are experiencing hair loss or thinning.
Does PRP have side effects?“There may be some bruising from administering the injections, but aside from that when performed by a medical professional, there is no risk of side effects from the plasma. This is because you are rejuvenating the patient using their own cells,” explains Sister. However, if the injections are poorly administered there is risk of infection, nerve injuries, pain at the site of injection and tissue damage.
Is there any downtime?Essentially when performed in the ‘traditional’ method of injecting or microneedling there is no downtime. However, as plasma is now being used in multiple different aesthetics treatments think fillers, lasers, thread lifts and more. This means that you have to consider how your plasma is administered when factoring in whether your treatment requires any downtime.
How much does PRP cost?On average PRP facial prices start at around £600, however again since PRP is used in many different areas and combined with other treatments, costing will vary.
Daniel Sister, MD
Dr Daniel Sister graduated from the Paris Medical School in 1973, and completed his residency and post...Book with Daniel Sister