PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is an exciting addition to dermatology. This procedure involves removing an amount of blood equivalent to a blood draw for routine tests. The blood is then centrifuged in two steps, to remove unwanted red blood cells and white blood cells, preserving the plasma, a yellow clear fluid, which is rich in platelets and important growth factors. This serum is then gently injected into the skin through a very fine needle.
Recently, studies have shown that this approach boosts the skin with essential nutrients that allow it to renew itself, even after a single session. Among other interesting studies, there was an increased improvement of difficult acne scars after laser resurfacing on the side where PRP was added, and in another, a single PRP session improved the appearance and depth of the deep groove under the eye, known as tear trough. Also, PRP was found useful to help regrow hair after a hair loss episode and even in the common hereditary thinning process of androgenetic alopecia.
PRP is like adding healthy fertilisers to the skin, and allowing nature to fix itself, at times we follow up by added activation using laser for example. In my practice, initial one-sided treatments showed improvement of texture, acne scars and even laugh lines, after a single session, lasting several months!
A PRP session takes about 40 minutes, may leave a few bruises, though not much because of the platelets and other factors such as fibrinogen that are included and that help reduce bleeding. It is advisable to perform 3 sessions at 1 month intervals, to repeat it one sessions after 3-6months to optimise results, and then once or twice a year as needed. PRP is most useful in areas of skin laxity such as the face and around the eyes, the neck, hands and any other area of loose skin especially of the abdomen and knees. It is also recommended in preparation for resurfacing of the skin, and to treat hair loss. As a preparation, it is advised to avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatories and vitamins such as Vitamin E and Omega-3 for a week, and avoid alcohol and garlic for 3 days.
Like all dermatological procedures, PRP requires knowledge in dermatology, and in addition, the proper handling of blood. PRP carries a risk of infection and other complications, which are extremely rare when done in the proper setting skin. PRP should only be done by specialized dermatologists in a proper medical setting.