In aesthetics, we often focus on the hottest trend or technology that will transform skin and help us look as youthful as we feel. But sometimes, going back to basics and reimagining time-honored techniques can be just as good for our skin (if not better!) and produce amazing results. As we like to say, what’s old can be new again. That’s what leads us to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment, a technique that involves drawing your blood, and separating out the protein and growth-factor-rich plasma from the sample which can be used in your body and on your skin for regenerative, anti-inflammatory and rejuvenating purposes.
For a long time, the power of our body’s own natural growth factors to stimulate healthy new tissue and collagen has been harnessed in the medical community. Look no further than sports, orthopedic and regenerative medicine and the idea of PRP is practically archaic. It’s been used to promote healing, calm inflammation and support arthritis and joint recovery. It was only a matter of time before this protocol was applied to the largest organ in the body: the skin.
This month, we’re sharing a little more about how PRP treatment really works, how it’s being used on the face in combination with microneedling (mesotherapy) and applied as part of an advanced hair restoration treatment. And for those patients interested in experiencing PRP, we’re also offering a promotion throughout the months of June and July (learn more here).
First, What Really Is Platelet-rich Plasma And How Is It Processed?
Most of our blood is made up of liquid plasma but it also contains many rich components including red and white blood cells and platelets.
Platelets help our blood to clot, and they also contain countless proteins called growth factors which are key to helping injuries heal.
The key to harnessing platelets in our blood for ‘good’, is to draw a blood sample and then process it using a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other parts of the blood.
Once we have this concentrated ‘liquid gold’, it can be used for several forms of treatment. Most commonly we hear about it as part of treatment for high-level athletes who may be suffering from injuries (sprained knees, tendonitis, etc.). In our industry, we use PRP to care for the skin and to promote new hair growth.
Who Is PRP Treatment For?
At Russak+, we offer PRP treatment in two major cases, as part of a treatment protocol for facial rejuvenation and as part of our comprehensive hair regrowth and restoration program.
The great news is that most (if not all) patients are good candidates for PRP and microneedling treatment for the face and body. There is minimal downtime, and the results are almost universally suited to every patient’s skin needs. Because the PRP solution is combined with microneedling therapy (or collagen induction therapy) which causes micro-injuries in the skin to stimulate new collagen and elastin, the power duo of microneedling and PRP can improve skin texture and tone, minimize the appearance of pores, smooth wrinkles and fine lines and minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation and scarring (acne, stretch marks, you name it). It’s a perfect treatment for patients who are just getting started in aesthetics, seeking a high-reward ‘maintenance’ treatment, or as a quick fix before an event when you want your complexion to look its best.
PRP injections and microneedling of the scalp is part of our hair restoration treatment, a program designed for patients looking to counteract male or female pattern baldness and hair thinning. Patients looking for this treatment solution will need to be evaluated first before starting the program and will combine PRP treatment with daily prescription-strength homecare.
PRP Treatment For Facial Rejuvenation: Step-by-Step
PRP treatment for facial rejuvenation is an increasingly in-demand treatment at our office, not just because it is everywhere on social media and popularized by celebrities, but because patients love the results.
When patients arrive for their treatment they complete treatment paperwork and then make themselves comfortable while they have their skin numbed and their blood drawn.
This process takes a matter of minutes and the only side effect is that some patients may feel a bit dizzy or lightheaded when blood is drawn. Something that a little water and juice will help in no time!
Once the blood is drawn, our team takes it away to our centrifuge where it is spun to separate out the PRP solution from the rest of the blood.
The full sample is then brought back in and the treatment provider is able to draw out the PRP using a syringe so that it can be used on the skin.
Before the treatment begins, we make sure our patients’ skin is thoroughly clean with no remaining residue and the full numbing period has completed.
Once ready, our team gently applies your body’s own PRP solution to the face (or body area being treated) while a microneedling pen is slowly glided across the treatment surface. The microneedling pen will be penetrating to the dermis level which will cause some surface-level blood to be visible on the top of the skin. The micro-injuries are stimulating deep collagen production, while the PRP is able to penetrate deep into the skin to promote healing, minimize inflammation and support skin rejuvenation.
After the treatment, the skin will be quite red and may feel tight or sting. The residual redness may last for 1-3 days but will be greatly diminished within 24 hours. After a week, some patients may see some superficial flaking.
We always advise patients on thorough post-care instructions: when to get in touch and set you up with your next appointment (if required), what to look out for, what skincare to use and what to avoid (including direct sunlight, exfoliating or retinol-based products, etc.).
Initial results will be visible in 1-2 weeks. Skin will look brighter and brand new!
Always research treatment providers carefully and make sure you go to an expert in their field. Any procedure that involves drawing blood or microneedling with a pen that penetrates to the dermis leaves you open to the risk of infection and skin damage. This treatment is ‘provider’ and ‘skill’ dependent.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections For Hair Regrowth
Just as PRP and microneedling treatment are being used across the face and body to rejuvenate skin, boost collagen and stimulate healing, so is it being used on the scalp to stimulate new follicular hair growth and thicker, fuller hair for men and women.
This male patient was experiencing hair thinning at the front of his scalp and at the crown as part of early male pattern baldness. After several rounds of treatment which included PRP injections, he experienced an increase in darker, fuller hair.
As part of our comprehensive, non-surgical hair regrowth and restoration therapy, patients are evaluated to see if they will benefit from this treatment and are advised on the scope of the treatment protocol.
When patients come in for their first treatment, their blood is drawn and the PRP is centrifuged to process out the PRP from the red blood cells. The scalp is numbed to minimize any discomfort.
The treatment process involves a series of PRP injections combined with the PRP solution being microneeded into the scalp. The area may be sensitive and red for 1-3 days.
Post-treatment, all patients are prescribed a Hair Fortifying Rx homecare solution to apply once or twice daily to the treatment area to help further stimulate hair growth and enhance results.
Most patients receive four initial treatments spaced one month apart and then maintenance treatments every four to six months to retain results. While outcomes vary, most patients will start to see results after three months and will continue to see improvements over time.