What Is Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP)?
Blood is mainly a liquid called plasma, it also contains small solid components; red cells, white cells, and platelets. The platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. However, platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors; which are very important in the healing of injuries.
PRP is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in blood. The concentration of platelets — and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors — can be 5 to 10 times greater or richer than usual.
To develop a PRP preparation, blood must first be drawn from a patient. The platelets are separated from other blood cells and their concentration is increased during a process called centrifugation. Then the increased concentration of platelets is combined with the remaining blood.
How Does PRP Work?
Although it is not exactly clear how PRP works, laboratory studies have shown that the increased concentration of growth factors in PRP can potentially speed up the healing and rejuvenating process.
For skin rejuvenation the non-surgical PRP procedure stimulates injured cells to heal and regenerate themselves. The PRP treatment stimulates the growth of cells, effectively smoothening out lines and folds, and diminishing, if not, erasing in time signs of aging.
What Conditions are treated with PRP? Is It Effective?
Research studies are currently being conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of PRP treatment. At this time, the results of these studies are inconclusive because the effectiveness of PRP therapy can vary. Factors that can influence the effectiveness of PRP treatment include:
The area of the body being treated
The age and overall health of the patient
While treating injuries; whether the injury is acute (such as from a fall) or chronic (an injury developing over time
While treating hair loss; causes & degree of hair loss
While treating skin and aging; amount of chrono, solar and lifestyle associated aging damage
Treatment with platelet-rich plasma holds great promise. Currently, however, the research studies to back up the claims in the media are l