Smoother, plumper and more radiant skin can be yours with Regen Platelet Rich Plasma, a treatment that rejuvenates your own cells. Aimée Surtenich from cosmeticsurgerymagazine.com.au reports.
A favourite of celebrities, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment helps restore lost volume and rejuvenate the skin using the patient’s own platelets. Platelet Rich Plasma facial rejuvenation, available in Australia under the brand name Regen PRP, involves the production and injection of autologous platelet-rich plasma to help restore lost volume and structure and improve the complexion.
Apart from assisting blood clotting, platelets also release growth factors, which help the human body to heal itself by stimulating cells to regenerate new tissue. Regen PRP injections target the growth factors found in these platelets to stimulate the body into producing collagen. ‘I believe Regen PRP therapy is the ultimate biological skin rejuvenation treatment,’ says Perth cosmetic physician Dr Yien Yeo. ‘It uses the patient’s own cells to refresh the complexion, providing overall rejuvenation by improving the quality of the skin and restoring plumpness to wrinkles, scarring and crêpey skin.’
Depleted amounts of collagen and elastin are common effects of the ageing process, manifested in the formation of deep lines, wrinkles and dehydrated skin. According to Dr Kathy Gallagher from Queensland, Regen PRP therapy targets each of these concerns in all layers of the skin – from the deep dermal structures to the outermost surface. ‘PRP therapy can be used anywhere on the face and is particularly suited to improving fine lines, skin laxity and dark circles, an overall loss of facial volume as well as thin textured skin,’ she explains. ‘In my experience, patients aged between 40 and 60 can benefit greatly from the procedure as it can rejuvenate areas affected by a loss of elastin and reinvigorate the quality of the skin in the face, around the eyes, neck and décolletage – areas that are typically harder to refresh non-surgically.’
The term ‘Platelet Rich Plasma’ is used to describe blood plasma with a high concentration of platelets, which are integral to tissue repair. In concentrated form, the platelets contain special proteins that are responsible for initiating new blood vessel formation and connective tissue repair. As a result, new collagen and hyaluronic acid production is stimulated by the body’s natural healing mechanisms, improving skin health and creating a more vibrant appearance. ‘Whereas other skin rejuvenation treatments work by stimulating skin repair from the outside, PRP is unique in that it utilises the body’s natural repair resources to heal the skin and other deeper tissues from the inside,’ says Sydney cosmetic physician Dr George Calfas.
‘This results in a better framework of both the skin layer and the subcutaneous tissues, giving improved support and fullness.’ ‘PRP is a very versatile treatment as it can be tailored specifically for volume replacement (as an alternative to dermal fillers); hair regrowth (male pattern baldness/ thinning); the treatment of scar tissue (acne scarring and body stretch marks); as well as skin tightening and thickening,’ says Dr Paloma van Zyl from Sydney. ‘The treatment can also be combined with virtually any other cosmetic treatment. For example, PRP therapy sessions may be conducted together with a non-invasive laser skin treatment such as Fraxel or Pixel, or with muscle relaxants and fillers.’
Before treatment, a local anaesthetic or topical anaesthesia cream is used to numb the area. Treatment typically lasts about 40 minutes and involves taking two small tubes (about 10 to 20ml) of blood from the patient. The blood is centrifuged to concentrate the plasma and the concentrated platelets are then injected into the area. Side effects are typically mild and include slight swelling, which usually settles in 24 hours, and the possibility of mild bruising from the injections. Because the natural healing process takes some time, results appear gradually and progressively, usually over a four to six week period.
In order to maximise the benefit to the patient, Sydney based cosmetic physician Dr Herbert Hooi says that PRP facial rejuvenation is usually given as a series of three treatments, four weeks apart. Top-up treatments are advised every 12 to 18 months to maintain and further enhance results.
‘In my experience, PRP injections create a natural-looking result for patients wanting to enhance and illuminate their face,’ says Dr Yeo. ‘They provide gradual, natural-looking results for patients who want a complete package, and offer something completely different to dermal fillers and muscle relaxants – an overall radiant and youthful glow.’
Dr Hooi agrees: ‘My patients like the fact that the treatment uses their own cells and that it can be performed in the one visit. They’ve also commented on a noticeable softening of the wrinkles and an increase in firmness of their skin,’ he says. ‘However, it’s possible the best is yet to come. In my opinion, we have not yet seen the full potential of Regen PRP, and this is why I believe it is such an exciting development.’