Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy - The Secret To Youthful, Beautiful Skin Lies Within

Platelet-Rich Plasma - healing the skin with the body's natural powers of rejuvenation 

I have always considered one of the top functions of cosmetic medicine being the harnessing of the body's own healing and restorative processes to rejuvenate the skin. Laser treatments, for example, selectively wound the skin to encourage the skin to produce new skin in its' place. Skin creams and treatments are also designed to help boost and support the skin's natural healing and renewal processes. 

Platelet-Rich Plasma, PRP, Vampire Facelift

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is another example of a medical technique that is being used to improve the skin using the natural, healing components of the body. This treatment is also known as a Vampire Facelift. 

This treatment has been used for many years to help heal wounds and encourage quicker healing, for example in athletes suffering from sports injuries. Tiger Woods, the world's number one golfer, used PRP therapy to recover quickly from knee surgery. PRP also has a long history in the treatment of surgical recovery, bone cancer, ulcers, and torn ligaments, and there have been reported successes in a large variety of other conditions. 

In recent years, PRP therapy was introduced as a method of rejuvenation for the skin, helping to accelerate normal cell renewal and healing processes by stimulating collagen formation, revascularization (increasing blood supply) and repair. Using your own blood means that there is no risk of adverse reactions to the treatment. PRP can also be used as a 'natural filler' to help restore volume where necessary. 

How does PRP benefit the skin?

Blood contains platelets, which helps to clot the blood and repair damaged areas in the body. Platelets also release growth factors to stimulate the growth of new, healthy tissue. When PRP is injected into the skin, it activates dermal fibroblasts, a skin component that plays a key role in maintaining skin integrity and youthfulness, causing the synthesis of cell-renewal ingredients such as collagen, adhesive molecules and cytokines. It has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of wrinkles and for skin rejuvenation due to its growth factor activity. Read more about this research here.

A study done by doctors Alessio Redaelli, Domenico Romano and Antonio Marciano from Milan,Italy, and published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, May 2010, showed that Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment improved skin wrinkles, texture, elasticity, volume and skin tone. Patients reported an 82% improvement in skin tone, 52% improvement in wrinkle appearance, 87% improvement in general appearance, and 100% satisfaction with the treatment outcomes. 

Here are some photos of their findings from this study:
Before and after PRP treatments, showing improvement in texture, skin tone and colour. 

Before and after PRP treatment, showing scar revision. 

These photos, below,  are from a clinical study done in Munich, Germany by S. Zenker and published in a paper entitled 'Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Facial Rejuvenation', and shows how PRP can be used for skin rejuvenation for patients of any age and skin condition. 


How is the treatment performed?

The PRP treatment involves drawing your own blood from the veins in your arm. This blood is then placed in a centrifuge, which spins at high speed to separate the platelets from the other blood components.   



The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the face in multiple injections. Each injection helps to spread the PRP into all areas of the face, while causing a small damage to encourage rejuvenation. PRP can also be used to rejuvenate the neck, decolletage and hands. PRP is also successfully being used as a hair loss remedy.

Kim Kardashian posted this picture of herself after PRP. As you can see, Kim's skin is glowing with youth and vitality!

Post-Treatment

You can see the benefits of the treatment from the second week, although repeat treatments are necessary for best results. A package of 6 treatments at 1 monthly intervals will give you excellent results. Results are gradual and the skin will continue to improve as the process of renewal can go on for up to a year after the treatment. A combination therapy together with fractional laser treatments can help to further improve and accelerate the rate of rejuvenation.

Safety and Results

The treatment is very safe as there is no risk of any allergy or reaction to the materials being injected. The skin is being encouraged to renew itself, so you will merely have better, firmer skin, but there is no chance of looking 'fixed' or 'unnatural'. It is particularly beneficial for the eye area, helping to improve dark circles and eye bags. It is also great for fine lines and wrinkles, and gives the complexion an overall youthful glow and uplifted appearance.    

If you're wondering how the platelets, which are already present in the body, can provide any further benefits by being re-injected, the important thing to know is that the process of injection is creating micro-wounds so that the body's wound-healing process is activated. The concentrated platelets injected into the area help to improve the process, and by doing so, all the skin's internal components are also being boosted. With regular maintenance and proper care, the skin can potentially be rejuvenated so the aging process is prevented for longer. 

--- Cosmetic Medicine, MD

Dr. Liow Tiong Sin is an aesthetic practitioner who practices in Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, Malaysia. He has more than 12 years of expertise with non-surgical cosmetic treatments, and conducts training courses for other doctors from all around Asia. 
To connect with Dr. Liow, Like Cosmedmd's Facebook page, visit Beverly Wilshire Medical Centre's website at http://www.beverlywilshiremedical.com or drop him an email at cosmedmd@gmail.com

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