You may have heard about all the hype surrounding platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy through the media, perhaps in the context of top professional athletes who have undergone PRP treatment as part of their cutting-edge health regimens. But did you know that PRP therapy can be used to treat a large number of conditions and increasingly is being viewed as an integral part of many health-maintenance routines? At Luxe Aesthetics in Greensboro, NC, we utilize the latest in PRP treatments to help our patients maintain the healthy, youthful vibrancy they desire.
What Does PRP Therapy Treat?
Today, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is used in a variety of treatments and therapies, and the potential uses for this revolutionary new health technology continue to grow in number, seemingly by the day. Before we delve further into how we use PRP therapy to help skin maintain elasticity and suppleness, let’s take a closer look at what PRP therapy is and how it works.
What Is PRP Therapy?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a revolutionary treatment that, amazingly, uses only the blood from your own body! Our specialists draw a small amount of blood, which then undergoes a high-tech, specialized process to remove almost everything except the concentrated platelets.
PRP injections involve just a few easy steps that typically can be completed in about thirty minutes. First, a trained practitioner draws a small amount of blood from the patient. Next, this blood is placed in a high-tech centrifuge that spins the blood at incredibly high speeds. This causes the blood to separate into different segments, with the platelets gathering in their own “band”. These platelets are then isolated from the rest of the blood and strategically re-injected into the patient. But how does PRP achieve such amazing results?
Platelets: Good for More Than Just Clotting Blood
Platelets are the cells in our bloodstream responsible for clotting. When activated, they form a protective barrier to stop bleeding, as in the instance of a cut blood vessel. However, medicine is only beginning to understand the immense potential that platelets may have in other applications.
Platelets contain so-called “growth factors” that can, among other things, trigger cell proliferation, stimulating tissue regeneration and, in the case of injury, speeding up the healing process. This has led to PRP treatments being used in a wide range of applications, and science is only beginning to tap the potential of this amazing new discovery, which has been hiding in plain sight within our own bloodstreams the entire time.
How Long Does a PRP Treatment Take?
With the requirement of high-tech processing to isolate the platelets in your blood, it sounds like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections could be a long, involved process, potentially requiring multiple trips to the doctor’s office. However, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, from collecting the blood sample from the patient to extracting the platelets from the blood to injecting the PRP into the targeted area, the entire process usually can be completed in roughly 30 minutes.
In order to isolate the platelets and those powerful growth factors, the patient’s blood is placed in a centrifuge, where it is spun at very high speeds. As the blood is spun in the centrifuge, a layer of PRP forms. This layer of PRP then isolated and prepared for injection into the targeted area. That’s it! At Luxe Aesthetics, our PRP injections will have you in and out and on your way in virtually no time, with lasting results!
Typical Recovery Time After a PRP Injection
Recovery times following the injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can vary somewhat based on individual patients, the condition being treated, and the severity of the treatment, but most patients receiving PRP injections require little if any recovery time. Patients may experience two to three days of mild recovery time following a PRP injection such as those we perform at Luxe Aesthetics, but many patients don’t require any recovery time at all.
How to Prepare for a PRP Injection
Not much preparation is required on the patient’s part in order to get ready for treatment with platelet-rich plasma (PRP). In most cases, a patient can just show up for the treatment with no preparation necessary. However, the use of certain medications will inhibit the optimum functioning of the platelets by inhibiting the efficacy of the growth factors.
Medications that may interfere with platelets’ functioning include anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin as well as anticoagulants. Many doctors recommend avoiding such medications for at least one week prior to receiving a PRP injection in order to limit their potential impact on the efficacy of the treatment.
How Does PRP Work?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapies take advantage of the unique characteristics of platelet cells to stimulate growth and accelerate healing. When PRP is injected into the skin, it interacts with neighboring cells to produce powerful effects, such as stimulating the growth of collagen.
What Is Collagen?
Often associated in popular culture with skin treatments, collagen is a protein that plays a wide range of vitally important roles not only in humans but in many mammals. In fact, collagen is the most abundant protein found in mammals, accounting for 25-35% of the body’s entire protein content.
Collagen is most often found in connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments. Although we often do not think of it as one, skin also is a connective tissue, and as such, it is chock full of collagen. Collagen can range from hard to soft depending on the amount of mineralization. On the “softer” side, collagen forms the connective tissue in and around joints, such as tendons. Add slightly more mineralization and it becomes cartilage. Add still more and collagen can form bone. In all, researchers have identified more than 30 different kinds of collagen.
Why Does Collagen Matter for Skin Care?
Despite there being more than 30 different kinds of collagen in the human body, more than 90% of that collagen belongs to Type I, which makes up skin, tendons, and many organs. Collagen is responsible for giving much of the supporting structure to skin, so as collagen levels begin to decrease with age, it can cause the skin to lose support and structure.
By stimulating collagen growth in strategically targeted locations, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can help skin reclaim its youthful luster and vibrancy, naturally smoothing out the skin and generating real results that last. And, because it involves only natural substances and processes, the results typically have a more “organic” quality to them than other treatments using artificial chemicals.
How Is PRP Different from a Collagen Injection?
As opposed to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, which are intended to naturally stimulate the growth of collagen in the skin, some treatments involve simply injecting collagen directly into the skin. Unlike PRP, which is derived from the patient’s own blood, the collagen used in collagen injections often is sourced from cattle.
Rather than using collagen derived from a cow, a person, or some other animal, PRP injections use only naturally occurring substances from within the patient’s own body to stimulate collagen growth the way the body does: using powerful growth factors.
No Foreign Substances
Unlike the vast majority of comparable treatments, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapies do not involve foreign substances or manufactured chemicals, the full long-term effects of which on the human body still are not fully understood. Instead, PRP treatments use only cells from the patient’s own body to stimulate naturally occurring processes.
The medical term for a treatment that is naturally derived from a patient’s own body is “autologous.” Generally speaking, autologous treatments bear a lower potential risk of side effects than do other treatments. This makes intuitive sense because substances coming from within a patient’s own body clearly have a lower chance of doing harm than do substances originating elsewhere.
PRP for Skin Rejuvenation
The growth factors in platelet-rich plasma (PRP) make it perfect for stimulating the growth of skin cells, particularly in the face. Our PRP injections contain only the PRP-rich fibrin matrix from your own blood. By strategically locating the injections, our specialists are able to promote the natural growth of collagen in your skin. The end result is smoother, tighter, more elastic skin. At Luxe Aesthetic, we focus on the use of PRP injections to improve skin quality.
Is PRP Right for You?
With all of these potential benefits and uses, what sort of patients make good candidates for treatments involving platelet-rich plasma (PRP), such as the skin-rejuvenating techniques available at Luxe Aesthetics?
Patients in Good Health
As with most cosmetic treatments, the best candidates for platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections will already be in good health and not suffering from any major medical conditions, particularly those that could be negatively impacted by undergoing PRP treatment. If you have or suspect you may have a serious medical condition, consult with your personal physician in determining whether a PRP treatment might adversely affect your health.
However, because PRP injections use only the platelets from your own blood, it does not involve introducing any foreign substances, which can present health risks for some individuals. PRP uses only your body’s own platelets and growth factors to help encourage the production of collagen, leading to firmer, tighter, smoother-looking skin.
Patients Looking to Slow the Signs of Aging
By using your body’s own cells to stimulate the growth of collagen, PRP injections restore to the skin a youthful luster and vigor. Increased collagen production tightens and smooths the skin naturally, providing subtle yet noticeable results. If you are looking for a way to restore your skin’s tone and structure naturally, a PRP treatment from Luxe Aesthetics may be the right choice for you.
PRP Injections: The Treatment of the Future
Using powerful growth factors found in your own blood, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections stimulate the body’s natural processes to increase healing and rejuvenation without the use of foreign substances. While medicine has still only discovered the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many potential uses of PRP, at Luxe Aesthetics we have harnessed the power of platelets in offering our skin-rejuvenating PRP injections.
Our PRP injections can be used on their own or in conjunction with other treatments and procedures–such as a surgical face life–to speed up recovery and improve final results. And, with the entire process taking less than 30 minutes, you can stop in for your PRP treatment and be on with your day. If you are curious about how PRP injections might be used to achieve the results you desire, contact Luxe Aesthetics in Greensboro, North Carolina today to see what we can do for you!