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Clear, bright, fresh skin. That is the goal of Facial PRP therapy combined with other regenerative techniques.
So what about aging skin? Some of the variables that determine how ‘old’ skin looks include nutrition and nutrient absorption, hormone balance, hydration, blood sugar status, exercise, stress management, exposure to toxins, and genetics. Many of these things can be optimized efficiently with natural medicine to slow down aging. There are also regenerative therapies, such as PRP, which can stimulate the partial reversal of aging skin symptoms. In natural integrative care, we address the primary causes of skin damage (and overall aging) and also help the body to reverse the damage with rejuvenation procedures such as Facial PRP therapy. Together, this combination is much more potent than either strategy alone.
What is PRP?
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. Platelets are powerful particles in the blood that normally concentrate at an area of injury and set off a signaling cascade that tells the body to heal or rejuvenate a damaged area. You can see this in action in a cut on your arm when straw colored fluid (plasma) concentrates along the edges of the healing cut. That fluid contains particles that are ‘telling’ the body that there is an injury there and that reconstruction is needed. The body then draws healing nutrients and cells to the area so that healthy new tissue can be formed. Some of the powerful signaling molecules that platelets make include:
- Platelet-Derived Growth Factor (PDGF): – Responsible for cell growth and division
- Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF): – Responsible for creation of new blood vessels and capillaries
- Transforming Growth Factor (TGF) – Controls cell growth and cell differentiation
- Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF): – Also has a role in cell growth and differentiation
- Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CGTF)
PRP Therapy uses this natural phenomenon to heal injuries and restore damaged and aging skin by concentrating and placing these particles in the area that needs extra healing. This therapy has been around for decades, but was used in earlier years primarily in elite athletes and in racehorses. It was used first as an injection into injured joints to speed healing, a process which is also performed in our clinic today.
Platelet rich plasma is made from a fresh sample of your own blood. The sample is specially prepared to separate out, concentrate and stimulate the platelets, which then are injected carefully into the site of injury or damage. In contrast to other cosmetic procedures, PRP is quite gentle. It uses no foreign chemicals and there is no cutting or scalpel use. The activated platelets will draw attention to the area and the body will sense that there is an ‘injury’ there which needs to be healed. Gradually, the body will replace sun damaged or aging tissue in the area with newly made skin! The quality of that skin will depend on how well we have nourished and prepared your body to make new tissue, which is why integrative care using quality nutrients and hormone balancing has the fastest and most complete effect.
What to expect from facial, skin and hair re-growth PRP therapy
PRP therapy begins with a simple blood draw, where the skin of the arm is numbed and a small needle is used to draw several tablespoons of blood. This blood is specially prepared to return to you as PRP while you wait. The area to be treated is thoroughly numbed with a topical anesthetic. (Areas to treat can include the face, neck, décolleté, tops of breasts, backs of hands or any area with scars or sun damage. Scalp treatments to restore hair growth are also popular for both men and women.) The freshly prepared PRP is carefully placed in the optimum areas to fill out facial features, plump sunken areas and fill wrinkle lines. (Collagen injections can also be used in conjunction with PRP for instant results.) Finally, a small cluster of microneedles are used to stimulate the whole area to be treated. This part of the procedure stimulates the skin to make elastic collagen, which is like a scaffolding or framework for new skin cells to build upon. A soothing skin mask is then applied. The entire process usually takes about an hour.
Full results can begin to be seen in about 3 weeks and will improve gradually over 6 months as the skin ‘heals’ from the inside out. An immediate ‘plumping’ effect is noticed which gradually changes to a more permanent skin tightening and smoothing effect. Most patients can expect to notice benefits from this procedure for 1-2 years, at which point it can be repeated. Booster procedures such as the PRP Facial -done every 3-6 months with a microneedle device -can extend the benefits of the procedure as well.
Most patients can expect minor bruising and skin reddening the day of the procedure (similar to a mild sunburn) and can return to normal activities the same day (often with some concealer applied!) Bruising amounts depend upon the technique used and the health and nutritional status of the individual and can take several days to 2 weeks to fully heal. Hair restoration patients should schedule late in the day as they are advised to ideally go home with a special serum on the scalp, sleep in it overnight and wash hair the next morning.
PRP Skin therapy is a gentle, natural option to improve skin health and appearance. People of any adult age can benefit from this procedure. It is safer, more cost effective and more beneficial than cosmetic surgery, working gently as it does to improve skin health rather than provide a merely superficial cosmetic effect.
Platelet Hair Restoration
In the hair restoration procedure, PRP is injected subcutaneously in the scalp area where hair growth is desired.
By acting on stem cells in the bulge area of the follicles, Platelet Rich Plasma turns on the healing capacity of dormant hair follicles and leads to the creation of new hair follicles. This results in not only thicker hair growing in existing follicles, but new hair follicles becoming activated to increase the total amount of hair. This technique has been demonstrated by Grade A scientific evidence.1
At 75 years old I thought nothing short of major surgery would really improve the appearance of my skin. I was pleasantly surprised that PRP therapy to my neck and upper chest reduced the sun damage and wrinkles- by about 25 years! I got the therapy about 2 years ago and it is STILL visibly better in that area than it was before the procedure. I think the neck and upper chest area is critical to how you look and is also very difficult to improve with creams, topicals and other procedures. This procedure was fast, easy and recovery time was almost zero. I recommend this to anyone who wants a fresher, healthier look without surgery.
I have enjoyed the benefits of PRP therapy for both face and scalp. The sessions are pleasant compared to other procedures and the benefits steadily unfold over time. The nice people and the natural approach to improving my whole health in combination with the procedure gives this clinic a definite edge. I can really see how the natural supplements make me both feel and look better, too.
- PRP Therapy for skin with Hyaluronic Acid, study summary:
According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the use of PRP in combination with hyaluronic acid can result in a “statistically significant improvement on facial skin”.1 The study, which included 94 female patients with varying degrees of facial aging, was focused on determining the efficacy of PRP combined with hyaluronic acid on the skin’s general appearance, firmness, and texture. The majority of the patients who received the treatment reported an improvement in all of the measured variables. It was found that the results improved progressively as the patients received more injections. 1Ulusal, B.G. (2016). Platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid – an efficient biostimulation method for face rejuvenation. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. DOI: 10.1111/jocd.12271
- PRP Therapy for skin, specifically acne scars, study summary:
PRP therapy has also shown to effective to manage acne scars. The effects of PRP therapy combined with a 70% glycolic acid skin peel were studied at the Department of Dermatology of the Faculty of Medicine Universitas Brawijaya in Indonesia. The participants of this study, 7 males and 10 females, presented a significantly less noticeable acne scars after receiving the treatment. Bansal, H., Comella, K., Leon, J., Verma, P., Agrawal, D., Koka, P., & Ichim, T. (2017). Intra-articular injection in the knee of adipose derived stromal cells (stromal vascular fraction) and platelet rich plasma for osteoarthritis. Journal of Translational Medicine. 15, 141.
1. Gentile P, Garcovich S, Bielli A, Scioli MG, Orlandi A, Cervelli V. The Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma in Hair Regrowth: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2015 Nov;4(11):1317-23. doi: 10.5966/sctm.2015-0107. Epub 2015 Sep 23. PMID: 26400925; PMCID: PMC4622412.