Skin ages for a variety of different reasons, and they are all out of our control. It’s a scary thought isn’t it? But one you likely already knew. What you may not have known is there is something you can do about it. It’s called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy and studies have indicated that it works. In fact, just last year celebrity Kim Kardashian used the therapy to rejuvenate her skin and it made headline news.
PRP helps reverse the aging process by boosting collagen production and regenerating tissues which naturally smoothes and tightens skin. When this occurs, you’ll notice wrinkles and stretch marks disappear and your skin to have a more even tone.
Performing PRP injections is actually quite simple, but understanding exactly how PRP rejuvenates skins is a bit more complex.
The first thing you should know is exactly why blood can help us turn back the clock. Our blood contains red and white blood cells as well as platelets. The latter contains substances called Growth Factor which activate and rejuvenate our body’s cells.
A doctor draws a small amount of blood from a patient and then places it into a centrifuge, a machine that helps separate contents like liquid. The device separates the blood into three layers: plasma, platelets and white blood cells and red blood cells.
The platelets are then isolated and located in the middle layer of the centrifuge, also known as the Buffy Coat. Because the machine separated the blood, the plasma holds a higher than normal number of platelets. This is called platelet rich plasma and the growth factors contained here are about 3 to 5 times more concentrated than unseparated blood. We’ll explain more about growth factors and how they play a role in facial rejuvenation shortly.
A doctor than painlessly injects the PRP into treatment areas using a syringe to repair and rejuvenate damaged skin. The entire process takes roughly 15 minutes.
How PRP affects proteins
PRP contains growth factors which help rapidly increase the production of fibroblast, or a cell that produces extracellular matrix and collagen. Why is collagen important to our skin?
Collagen is the single most abundant protein in our body and is found in our bones, muscles skin, and tendons to provide structure and strength. Residing in the middle layer of our skin, the protein forms a fibrous network. Upon this network new cells grow. Collagen helps strengthen our skin, makes it more elastic and replaces dead skin cells.
Collagen production naturally declines as we get older and can decrease with consistent exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light and other environmental factors.
When PRP is injected into the skin, the platelets are automatically activated by the normal coagulation factors within the tissues. Once activated, the platelets begin to release a series of growth factors such as platelet-derivied growth factor (PDGF), Insulin-like growth factor (IlGF), Epidermal growth factor (EGF) and transforming growth factor (TGF). The activated platelets also release proteins and together with growth factors bind to nearby basal cells and are then able to activate the process of tissue rejuvenation.
Unlike surgical procedures like face lift which can alter a person’s appearance, PRP can be a natural anti-aging medicine that doesn’t harm the patient.