I've been talking about platelet-rich plasma (PRP) a lot lately. And with good reason - through the studies online, my own clinical experience and working with others who also practice PRP for skin health, the results are too exciting to keep quiet. PRP can be used to help support the natural aging process of your skin, lay down new collagen, even out skin tone, help with acne scarring and even calm down rosacea. It's applicable for a number of various skin concerns and the more we learn about it, the better we are able to implement it into an already-existing treatment plan for a multitude of skin conditions.
Lines and Wrinkles - PRP for Skin Aging
PRP is a process whereby human platelets are concentrated and separated from your blood. These platelets contain important growth factors that, when injected into the skin are activated and stimulate tissue healing and collagen growth. Even in single-dose treatments, PRP has been shown to increase dermal collagen levels not only by the growth factors but also by the skin needling itself (also called mesotherapy) even only a month after the treatment.
For aging skin, PRP has been shown to provide significant benefit, especially in younger subjects that have mild to moderate wrinkles. PRP does not discriminate on age and can be beneficial for both men and women of all ages to improve lines and wrinkles of the skin. From wrinkling around the eyes to the nasolabial folds and lines around the lips, PRP has been shown to provide benefit.
PRP for Photodamaged Skin
One study even assessed the benefits of PRP on photodamaged skin. Not only was skin thickening observed, a reduction of the accumulation of abnormal elastic tissue in the dermis of the skin (also known as photoaging) was noticed. PRP is helpful in reducing oxidative stress in the skin induced by UV irradiation and preventing or correcting UV-induced fibrosis, cell damage, irritation and necrosis (tissue death) even regardless of the age of the patient. The take-home: PRP is an effective treatment for sun-damaged skin.
The Side Effects?
The side effects of PRP treatment are minimal and treatments are generally well tolerated. A numbing cream is usually applied to the skin area of concern which helps with the comfort of the procedure. Analgesic substances are also commonly added to the PRP formula that is injected into the skin, ensuring patient comfort for the remainder of the treatment. Minimal bruising is common and is easily remedied by simple cold application to the skin.
PRP can be of benefit for your skin health, regardless of your age. From preventing or healing sun damage to the naturally-occurring facial lines and wrinkles, PRP is an option worth trying. If you'd like to learn more about PRP and what it can do for you, check out my other articles on the topic HERE.
Abuaf OK, et. al. (2016 Dec). Histologic Evidence of New Collagen Formulation Using Platelet Rich Plasma in Skin Rejuvenation: A Prospective Controlled Clinical Study. Ann Dermatol. 28(6):718-724. DOI: 10.5021/ad.2016.28.6.718.
Anitua E, et. al. (2016). Plasma Rich in Growth Factors Enhances Wound Healing and Protects from Photo-oxidative Stress in Dermal Fibroblasts and 3D Skin Models. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 17(6):556-70.
Diaz-Ley B, et. al. (2015 Jul-Aug). Benefits of plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF) in skin photodamage: clinical response and histological assessment. Dermatol Ther. 28(4):258-63. DOI: 10.1111/dth.12228.
Elnehrawy NY, et. al. (2016 Jul 29). Assessment of the efficacy and safety of single platelet-rich plasma injection of different types and grades of facial wrinkles. J Cosmet Dermatol. DOI: 10.1111/jocd.12258.