Q: What does PRP stand for? Why would I want to use my blood to treat my skin? Becca, Winona Lake
A. Becca, thanks for your question! PRP stands for Platelet-Rich Plasma. PRP treatments use the growth factors in your blood to repair skin damage, activate collagen and improve the tone, texture and color of your skin. I know it sounds a little strange, but PRP therapy has been used since the 1970s and is utilized in many medical fields including sports medicine, dentistry, orthopedics and now aesthetics.
You’re probably wondering how we get those growth factors from your blood. Before your treatment, a small tube of the patient’s blood is drawn. It is then placed in a centrifuge where it is separated. The PRP is then extracted and used in the patient’s treatment. PRP can be applied topically to the skin following microneedling or ablative laser procedures. The PRP can also be injected into the patient’s face, scalp for hair loss or for urinary incontinence. One of the many benefits of getting a treatment with PRP is there is no risk of allergic reaction as you are using your own blood.
Dr. Charles Runels, inventor of the Vampire Facelift which uses PRP to help restore volume loss to the face, explain PRP like this. When you were a child and skinned your knee, remember the yellow goo that formed around your scab? The yellow goo is what helped to repair your knee and build new skin. When your blood is taken and separated before a treatment using PRP, we are creating the “yellow goo.” It is like your body’s own natural fertilizer.
I mentioned earlier combining PRP with microneedling, Becca. Microneedling works by using a surgical-grade device to puncture your skin creating thousands of tiny micro injuries under the top layer of skin. They are so tiny they can’t be seen with the naked eye. This triggers your body to create new collagen and elastin to fill in those tiny controlled wounds leaving your skin plumper and healthier and erasing imperfections. It is a great alternative treatment for the thinner areas of skin including around the eyes, mouth and neck as well as those not a candidate for laser. Microneedling is good for scarring, stretch marks and anyone who wants to improve their skin’s texture and tone. With just microneedling alone, you will increase your collagen production 200 percent. When PRP is injected following microneedling, your collagen production will increase 600 to 800 percent!
Becca, I recommend talking to a medical aesthetics professional if you have any more questions about PRP. Isn’t it amazing what our bodies can do?
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, practicing in Warsaw. She is a sought after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on Botox, fillers and sclerotherapy.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medi Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at www.veinmedicalspa.com