PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma)

What is PRP?

PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma, a high concentration of platelets in a small volume of plasma derived from one’s own blood. It is prepared by drawing a small tube of blood similar to a basic lab test. This tube is then spun down at high speeds in a centrifuge, which allows the platelet-rich portion to be separated from other components of the blood. This plasma solution containing a high concentration of platelets is then activated by addition of exact amount of calcium chloride to produce a platelet-rich fibrin matrix (PRFM). The activated PRP is then administered to the patient either via injection or topical skin application depending on the therapy. The platelets within PRP contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors, which in turn are responsible for the medical benefits of PRP. Because it contains only components of one’s own blood there is virtually no risk of an allergic reaction or disease transmission with PRP therapy making it one of the safest cosmetic procedures performed today. The PRP isolation process is quite rapid. The blood draw takes only a few minutes followed by 10 minute centrifugation process. The application time varies depending on the procedure but is usually performed within a standard office visit making the entire process time-efficient.

What is PRP Used For

PRP For Hair Restoration

PRP has been utilized in hair restoration for nearly a decade. A growing number of small studies over this period have shown promising results in androgenetic alopecia (pattern hair loss). A recent meta analysis in Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology of 6 such studies involving 177 patients concluded that PRP may be associated with increased number of hair and hair thickness improvement in the treated areas thus lending further evidence-based support to its use. PRP is still in the early stages of scientific research in hair restoration, however, and is not meant as a replacement of current FDA-approved therapies such as DHT blockers (oral finasteride) and topical minoxidil. These FDA-approved therapies are in fact often used as adjunctive to PRP as combination is felt to work synergistically in stimulating hair growth.


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How does PRP work in hair restoration?
PRP is a highly concentrated serum of platelets derived from one’s own blood. The power of PRP lies within the high concentration of platelets as well as growth factors released from those platelet once PRP is activated and administered. These platelet-derived growth factors exert their effects in the dermal papillae, the skin structure that provides nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicle. PRP is felt to stimulate inactive hair follicles within the dermal papilla causing them to revert to growth phase.

How is PRP procedure performed?
The procedure essentially involves a 3-step process performed within a 30-40 minute office visit.

  1. A small blood sample is drawn from the patient into a special test tube for PRP preparation
  2. The blood sample is then loaded into a centrifuge and spun for a certain amount of time to separate the components, mainly Red Blood Cells, Poor Platelet Plasma and Platelet Rich Plasma.
  3. The Platelet Rich Plasma portion which is straw colored serum is then drawn up into a syringe for injections into the scalp.

Are PRP injections painful?
As with any injection procedure there will be some discomfort. However, we use cooling spray device to anesthetize the injections sites on the scalp before the injections. This local anesthesia and oral anti-inflammatories minimize discomfort for majority of patients.

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How often are PRP injections performed?
For optimal results we recommend having PRP treatments performed once monthly for 3 months and then every 3 months thereafter for maintenance.

PRP For Facial Rejuvenation

Since Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a concentrated serum of platelets produced from one’s own blood it has no known toxicity or allergenic potential thus making it one of safest cosmetic treatments available for facial rejuvenation. The power of PRP lies within the high concentration of platelets as well as growth factors released from those platelet once PRP is activated and administered. The growth factors exert a number beneficial effects in facial rejuvenation. They stimulate blood vessel formation which given the skin a youthful glow. Furthermore, they stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen which in turn reverses age-related volume loss. The result is natural enhancement of skin texture and tone.

There are several ways to administer PRP for facial rejuvenation:

  1. The activated PRP called platelet rich fibrin matrix (PRFM) can be injected just under the skin similar to dermal fillers to produce volume and stimulate collagen production over time. While this does not produce the same volumizing effects of dermal fillers it is a natural way to stimulate one’s own dermal tissue to generate collage over several weeks to months. The results are a more tapered enhancement of wrinkles and skin tone.
  2. PRP can be applied directly onto the facial skin after it has been treated by micro-needling. Micro-needling utilizes an automated device that creates numerous “micro wounds” through the skin surface thereby stimulating skin tissue’s intrinsic wound healing cascade that in the process stimulates collagen production. Administering PRP after skin has been treated in such way allows the growth factors to penetrate more readily through the skin to their zone of action called the dermis. Here they stimulate their beneficial effects including enhancement in skin tone and texture and improvement of wrinkles and acne scars.