PRP injections are becoming more popular in conjunction with other treatments. The addition of PRP to a treatment uses the patient’s own blood cells to promote the healing process. Used for a variety of medical and cosmetic procedures, including hair loss treatment, microneedling, and under eye injections, the use of PRP can enhance the results of these procedures, while reducing downtime and the time it takes to heal.
What is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is made of plasma and platelets, which are blood cells that aid in healing throughout the body. Platelets also contain growth factors that cause tissue regeneration in the treated areas. Platelet-rich plasma is blood that contains a greater number of platelets than usual.
Platelet-rich plasma is created by spinning a blood sample from a patient in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets while separating out the other parts of the blood. This solution is injected into the target area so that the concentration of bioproteins called growth factors accelerate healing. PRP can be used for a variety of conditions from injuries to cosmetic procedures.
How PRP Works
Injecting PRP into damaged tissues can stimulate the body to grow new healthy cells as it contains proteins like growth factor and cytokines. These proteins help skin tissue repair itself. Because the tissue growth factors are more concentrated in PRP solutions, researchers believe this helps the body’s tissues to heal quickly after certain procedures. PRP injections can be used in several ways including hair loss and after cosmetic procedures.
Microneedling with PRP: Microneedling is a cosmetic treatment that uses hundreds of tiny, fine needles to make punctures on the skin’s surface. It can be used to address several age-related issues of the skin, including wrinkles and lines. Microneedling uses a device to create microscopic injuries on the top layer of the skin, which stimulates the skin’s natural healing abilities. Microneedling allows for the PRP to penetrate deeper through the tiny punctures in the skin. PRP microneedling is usually used to rejuvenate the face, but can also be used on the neck, chest, and hands.
With time, gradual breakdown and loss of collagen is common. Microneedling encourages collagen and elastin production to fight against the signs of aging and makes the skin look plumper. It rejuvenates the skin, giving it a more youthful appearance. In addition to increasing collagen production, PRP with microneedling can also address acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, and uneven skin tone. PRP enhances the effects of microneedling by adding growth factors to the process.
A study conducted by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (JAAD) found that microneedling used in conjunction with PRP:
- Improved acne scarring
- Increased patient satisfaction
- Decreased downtime after the procedure
Other studies have also indicated that PRP is a useful addition to cosmetic treatments.
RF Microneedling with PRP: Similar to standard microneedling, RF microneedling creates small punctures on the surface of the skin to improve the skin’s appearance. However, the addition of radiofrequency (RF) energy and PRP dramatically increases the benefits of traditional microneedling. The radiofrequency further stimulates the creation of growth factors through the microneedling. The procedure for RF microneedling with PRP is the same as the traditional microneedling as the PRP is applied as the microneedling is being done.
The benefits of the addition of RF and PRP to the microneedling are:
- Increases the results of traditional microneedling
- Allows for deeper penetration of PRP
- Minimizes post-treatment redness and swelling
PRP for Hair Restoration: Thinning hair and hair loss are common issues for men and women. Approximately 50 million men and 30 million women in the U.S. have experienced some hair loss. It is particularly common for those over the age of 50. PRP can be used to help regrow hair and there is research to support this claim. A 2019 studyfound that in comparison to minoxidil (Rogaine), PRP performed much better for hair loss. And, that the level of platelets can affect how well PRP works for hair loss. The higher the level of blood platelets, the more effective PRP is for hair loss.
PRP Under Eye Injections: If you find that you have more noticeable under eye circles, the aging process may be to blame. As you age, the contours of the skin around the eyes often change. The changing skin gives the appearance of dark circles. There are numerous options to treat under eye circles. For those looking for a treatment that is more effective than topical ones but less invasive than surgery, PRP injections are the optimal choice.
PRP correct dark circles and pigmentation under the eye as the plasma repairs and rejuvenates the tissue under the eye. When it is injected under the eye in conjunction with microneedling, dark circles gradually become less noticeable. PRP is injected into the skin under the eyes. The procedure usually only takes about 30 minutes, and up to three treatments are usually needed.
What to Expect from the PRP Injection Process
No matter what type of treatment you have done, the addition of PRP is easy. The amount of blood drawn depends on where the PRP will be injected. For example, the amount of blood for injection into the scalp is about the amount of a large teaspoon. After the blood it is drawn, it is placed in the centrifuge to separate out the platelets. The separation process takes about 15 minutes.
For PRP with microneedling or RF microneedling, a numbing cream will be applied about 30 minutes prior to the procedure. While you wait, your blood is drawn for the PRP and put through the centrifuge. The microneedling device is then used in all directions of the area for about ten minutes. After microneedling, the PRP is applied to the treatment area to enhance the effects of the microneedling.
Because PRP is derived from your own body, there is little risk for an allergic reaction or negative side effects. A medical professional that is well-versed in the application of PRP can discuss any potential side effects with you prior to treatment.
Recovery After Microneedling with PRP
One of the biggest benefits of the use of PRP is that the recovery period after microneedling is quick. Some patients may experience some tenderness or redness post-treatment. This usually clears within a few days. Most patients are able to resume most daily activities following treatments with PRP. Microneedling or RF microneedling with PRP can take a few weeks to deliver results, as it takes time to produce collagen. Some patients continue to see improvements in their skin for several weeks after treatment.
The same is true for hair restoration treatment with PRP. In the weeks following the procedure, the area will begin to heal faster and grow more hair than expected than hair restoration alone. The hair restoration treatment’s results are enhanced with the addition of PRP.
PRP Delivers Results
Cosmetic procedures that include PRP provide a range of benefits. Whether you want to rejuvenate your skin, eliminate dark undereye circles, minimize acne scars, or combat hair loss, PRP can enhance your results and aid in the healing process. Contact us today to find out how PRP can benefit you.