Posted by: Skin and Cancer Institute in Cosmetic Procedures, Medical Dermatology

Platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP therapy, is a dermatological treatment that helps skin heal faster, eliminates wrinkles, reduces dark circles under eyes, and encourages fresh hair growth in the scalp. Click here to learn more about the causes of hair loss and other potential treatments.

This treatment uses a patient’s own blood platelets to improve skin. Platelets are the cells involved in forming blood clots and scabs, and encouraging wounds to heal. Because of their role in healing damaged tissue, they exude several different growth compounds– platelet-derived growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, and transforming growth factor, among others.

When platelet-rich plasma is injected into the skin, extra fibrin begins to form near the injection sites. The growth factors exuded by platelets help boost collagen production and healing in the area, leading to a healthier appearance. The result is firmer skin, increased plumpness, filled-in wrinkles, reduced scars, and healthy scalp hair growth.

This treatment can be used by nearly anyone. It’s gaining in popularity among patients and dermatologists alike because it is long-lasting (up to eighteen months), costs about the same as other filling treatments, and offers good results with a much lower incidence of allergies or side effects. Unlike collagen treatments, PRP therapy can be safely used in patients with bovine collagen allergies. Unlike hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, which are intended for use in individual wrinkles and can leave skin with an uneven appearance, PRP injections are able to rejuvenate the entire face. Despite its overall safety, this treatment should not be used by heavy drinkers or smokers, people on anticoagulant medications, or those with cancer, liver disease, clotting disorders, or infections.

Recovery from PRP therapy is generally uneventful. Because the patient’s own cells are used, the only side effects are from the injections themselves. Patients are able to resume their daily lives immediately following the treatment, and visible results appear roughly three weeks afterward.