Platelet Rich Plasma, often referred to as PRP, is an attractive non-surgical option for those who have sustained an injury and wish to speed up the healing process. It is often a popular choice with injured athletes as it can shorten their downtime.
Blood consists of several elements – the liquid, otherwise known as plasma, and solid components, which include red and white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are vital for blood clotting, as well as for providing protein and helping with the healing process.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has much more platelets than what usually appears in blood. PRP therapy is therefore very attractive to those who have experienced an injury to the tendons, muscles or ligaments, and for those who have arthritis.
Who can have PRP therapy?
People who may elect to have PRP therapy include those who want to:
- Improve the texture of their skin
- Add volume to their skin
- Reduce fine lines
Those who have tissue damage or an open wound are also suitable to have PRP. This treatment is suitable for both women and men.
Who cannot have treatment?
You will not be suitable for PRP if you have:
- Skin diseases such as SLE
- Any severe metabolic and systemic disorders
- Abnormal platelet function
- Critical thrombocytopenia
- Underlying sepsis
- Haemodynamic instability
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) includes more platelets than what is found in the blood. PRP therapy involves taking a 15mL blood sample. The plasma and platelets are then separated in a process called centrifugation. The increased number of platelets are then combined with the plasma and injected back into the skin. This procedure will have to boost the stimulation of cells, which help to generate new tissue and skin.
PRP is well recognised as a way to accelerate wound healing, making it a particularly attractive option for injured athletes. It is often a sought-after method as it does not involve the use of chemicals.
This is a non-surgical procedure, and as a result, you will have no recovery period.
You will notice the results of PRP about three weeks after the treatment. During this time, the platelets will increase the collagen, which will over time improve the texture and tone of your skin.
Results will vary from each individual, but most results will last between 18 to 24 months. Your surgeon will be able to recommend cosmetics and other treatments which will help to prolong the results.
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What does the platelet rich plasma therapy involve?
You will have a volume of blood taken – the amount will vary depending on how many areas you would like to have treated. Once this is done, your blood will be placed in a centrifuge. After the cells have been separated, the rich platelets will be extracted and injected into the skin where you have requested the therapy.
How soon can I see results?
You will be required to have multiple treatments – this can be up to three treatments at four to six-week intervals. After treatments have been completed, you will be able to see results such as tightened skin and improvement in skin turgor. It will take approximately three months for collagen production to occur.
Is platelet rich plasma therapy permanent?
After you have completed all three therapy sessions, you should expect results to last for up to two years.
Can I have platelet rich plasma therapy?
Suitable candidates for platelet-rich plasma therapy include people who want improved skin texture, increased volume in their skin and those who want to remove wrinkles without any plastic surgery procedures. Those who have suffered tissue damage or have an open injury are also able to have platelet rich plasma therapy. Both females and males are suitable for this therapy.
There are numerous people who are not suitable for platelet rich plasma therapy. This includes people who suffer from skin diseases such as SLE, allergies, porphyria, cancer, severe metabolic and systemic disorders, abnormal platelet function, critical thrombocytopenia, haemodynamic instability, anti-coagulation therapy and, underlying sepsis.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of PRP treatments you will need is dependent upon factors such as your age and the condition of your skin. It is recommended that you have two to three treatments at intervals of four weeks. You will need to have maintenance treatments every six to twelve months depending on your personal needs.