Platelet Rich Plasma treatment
Collagen stimulating treatment for deep skin rejuvenation
Platelet Rich Plasma treatment, PRP (also known a ‘Vampire Lift’) dramatically improves the quality and evenness of your skin for a fresher healthier complexion
The net result is skin, which is rejuvenated, younger-looking, firmer and more even in tone. It is particularly useful for the areas under the eyes, which can become creppy and shadowed over time. The results can be quite amazing. As rejuvenating treatments go, it’s up there with my favourites. It’s virtually risk free as you are using your own ‘product’.
PRP or ‘Vampire lift’
Platelet Rich Plasma, otherwise known as PRP, or sometimes, ‘vampire lift’, is an advanced skin rejuvenation treatment. Its effectiveness stems from its use of product derived from your own blood to intensively stimulate the production of collagen in your skin. PRP treatment has been found to be particularly effective in the treatment of scarred skin.
Platelets form part of the composition of your blood; taken out of their normal unactivated environment (in blood), they are exposed to tissues which will activate them, say the dermis of the skin of the face. These platelets stimulate the production of collagen exactly where you put it. And they do this in a very natural, gradual way replacing lost collagen and evening out crepiness and thinning skin.
How does PRP work?
Blood is made up of cells suspended in plasma. There are red blood cells (for oxygen transport ), white blood cells (for immunological defence) and platelets which are responsible along with other clotting factors in your blood for stopping you bleeding. Without platelets you would bleed very easily. They are, literally, vitally important.
Normally, blood flows smoothly along inside blood vessels, which are intentionally quite slippery inside. When they are damaged and they tear, the tissues under the lining are exposed. These tissues contain collagen, which is very sticky to passing platelets and causes the platelets to become activated. This change causes them to attach to this exposed basement membrane. They also stick together and this forms a plug, which stops further leakage of blood from the vessel. Obviously, this isn’t enough to restore the vessel; the process of repair needs to begin. And this is stimulated by the activated platelets themselves. Activated platelets release local hormones called cytokines, which provide a very potent signal to surrounding cells (fibroblasts) to produce new collagen. They also release a variety of growth factors, e.g. platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) and these growth factors stimulate formation of new cells, new blood vessels and more ground substance to repair the damaged tissue.
So, knowing this, if you take platelets out of their normal unactivated environment (in blood) and expose them to tissues which will activate them, say the dermis of the skin of the face, they will obviously stimulate the production of collagen exactly where you put it. And they will do this in a very natural, gradual way replacing lost collagen and evening out crepiness and thinning skin.
What does PRP involve?
A deep cleansing facial is carried out and EMLA (or similar) local anaesthetic cream is applied. You then kick back, relax for half an hour. Read, have a tea or coffee (or a glass of champagne if you have a driver ). Blood is then taken (it’s almost painless, I’m an anaesthetist ) and is put in the centrifuge for 10 mins. This separates the red cells (and white cells) from the plasma in which they are suspended. The platelets are found at the bottom of the plasma layer. They are then aspirated into a syringe and this Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is put to one side. The EMLA is then removed and the skin is cleaned with alcohol.
We have found that the best way to introduce the platelets into the dermis is to combine it with another fantastic treatment called Dermapen. This is a type of what is called ‘Mesotherapy’. This is just a fancy name for needling the skin over and over again. The actual stimulus this causes provokes the dermis into producing new collagen and elastin. It’s not as painful as it sounds as the needles are contained in a (disposable) cartridge which fits into the Dermapen. It’s a bit like a tattoo pen, really. The vibrational speed the 12 tiny needles move up and down with is so fast it just feels like a vibration. So, this is done while the PRP is gently dripped onto the skin, driving the platelets in. The combination is incredible.
Down time with PRP?
How will I look as soon as it’s done?
You’ll look a little red but not bad at all. Maybe slightly swollen. As if badly sunburned.
At worst, you may have some bruising but they will fade and will be gone by 2 weeks, maximum. Usually, there is very little.
You’ll look back to normal in a couple of days.
Risks with PRP?
Is PRP painful?
Not really. Local Anaesthetic Cream really helps. Under the eyes is virtually pain free.
If you have very few platelets (that you know about) or are taking aspirin or other drugs that affect platelet activation (like clopidogrel or Plavix) then PRP will not work as well. The risks of stopping some of these drugs may not be worth it although stopping aspirin for one week ahead of treatment should be fine. We would discuss any health issues thoroughly at your consultation.
PRP for hairloss?
There is also evidence to support the use of PRP in treating hair loss and hair thinning. The scalp is treated with a topical local anaesthetic for 30 mins or so then is needled with a mesotherapy technique (mesotherapy just means any treatment that stimulates the deeper dermis of the skin, usually with needle rollers; we use dermapen). The PRP, obtained from your own blood which has been spun down, is then carefully injected into the areas with the most significant loss. The rest is up to time as hair goes through 3 distinct phases of growth and results may not be obvious for at least 3-4 months.
What does PRP cost?
Total cost (using Dermapen) £495 including follow up.
How many times do I need the treatment?
Once a year would do but 6 monthly is a definite option. For a more intense “kick start” we would recommend 3 treatments, 6 weeks apart.
Do I need any special creams after the treatment?
We apply Akademikliniken Recovery Cream after each treatment. It is important that you keep the skin clean, washing with warm water in which a little vinegar has been placed. Do not use soaps or products with active anti-ageing properties (for example, retinol) for the first two weeks following treatments. The aim is to keep the skin as moisturised as possible with a simple barrier cream, such as Recovery Cream, or E45 for example.