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PRP 101

Summer has arrived in sunny San Diego - flowers are blooming, the sun is out (and so is the higher SPF!) and everything feels new. In the spirit of the new season, I recently announced the addition of platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatments to the PFAM menu so that your skin can look as fresh as the season.

What is PRP?

PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma.

Our blood is made up of two main components - red blood cells and plasma. The plasma contains water, electrolytes, proteins, white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are integral to our body’s healing process. They are loaded with growth factors, which act as messengers to signal many different kinds of cells to grow, proliferate, migrate and function.  They accumulate at sites of injury and initiate and mediate the body’s own healing processes. So, through the use of your own platelets, which have been isolated from the other components of blood, a strong signal to heal and repair are sent to wherever the PRP is applied.

For years, athletes have been utilizing PRP treatments to accelerate injury recovery, but it’s recently been adopted into the aesthetic medicine category.


What are the benefits of PRP treatments?

PRP treatments seem to do it all:

  • Increase dermal collagen levels
  • Increase the thickness of the skin’s superficial layer
  • Accelerate tissue repair
  • Boost skin tightness, firmness and smoothness
  • Boost skin GLOW
  • Minimize the appearance of fine lines
  • Minimize acne scarring
  • Shrink blemishes
  • Treat hyperpigmentation
  • Create thicker and stronger hair follicles
  • Boost the effects of other treatments

Finally, since PRP uses your own blood for a glowing, youthful complexion, it is rare that you would have an allergic reaction or develop an infection!


What’s a PRP treatment like?

PRP treatments can be administered a variety of ways depending on your goals: topical injections, microneedling, in an AquaGold facial treatments, and combined with laser resurfacing.

While it can seem confusing or scary (ahem, Kim Kardashian’s bloody vampire selfie), PRP services are actually fairly straightforward and pain free.

All PRP treatments begin with a standard blood draw (typically, from the arm). The blood is placed in a special centrifuge and spun to separate the components: red blood cells, plasma and platelet-rich plasma. The platelet rich plasma is then drawn up from the test tube after centrifugation. Preparation of PRP takes approximately 10 minutes.

Once the PRP is prepared, it can be injected for hair restoration, or it can be used as a serum for microneedling or the AquaGold facial. PRP can also be mixed with dermal filler and injected into areas of concern on the face.

When PRP is administered, cells receive a strong “wound” message - even without a wound. The skin naturally turns up the cell repair mechanisms which produce additional collagen. As we know, collagen is key for firmer, glowier skin.

After your treatment, minimal downtime is needed. In fact in most cases, combining PRP with your service will decrease your downtime.  Most importantly, consistency is key. The effects of PRP will begin to show throughout the course of several appointments.

My Recommendations

If you’re looking to treat wrinkles, fine lines or improve skin firmness, microneedling or AquaGold with PRP may be the way to go. Microneedling stimulates the skin to regenerate by creating microchannels, which can help the PRP penetrate deeper into the skin and boost the effects of the service.

If you’re looking to treat hair loss, I recommend injections. These topical injections will stimulate hair follicles to regrow thicker and stronger hair.

No Vampires Here

There’s dozens of online images of celebrities with bloody faces, like Kim Kardashian, floating around the Internet. However, these pictures show an older method of applying whole blood to the skin while microneedling. With recent advancements in treatment, only the PRP component from the blood, which is actually GOLD in color, is applied to the face. Needless to say, no scary selfies here!

What’s Next?

Right now, PFAM is offering PRP treatments with microneedling, AquaGold, laser resurfacing, as well as topical injections for hair restoration. In the future (hint hint: in our new space), we will be adding new PRP services to our menu - like the Vampire Facelift, O-Shot and P-Shot!

Dr. Zoe

Book your PRP appointment today.

Perfect Face Aesthetic Medicine

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