In recent years, there’s been a tremendous interest in a facial rejuvenation technique called PRP (platelet-enriched plasma) which uses a patient’s own blood to rejuvenate the skin and restore a more youthful appearance. It’s been so popular, in fact, that it’s acquired the unsavory nickname of “vampire facelift.” Despite that unfortunate nickname, the PRP facial rejuvenation procedure has proven very popular, especially among celebrities looking for effective, safer methods for helping them appear younger and more refreshed.
So what is PRP? Essentially, it’s your own blood enriched by platelets to help stimulate the development of collagen and other components that help skin look younger and healthier. PRP contains growth factors and proteins called cytokines that help heal age- and sun-related damage in the skin. Although it’s become especially popular within the past couple of years, Dr. Shapiro has also been practicing PRP at Sadick Dermatology for almost a decade.
Blood will be removed from a vein in your arm and processed prior to your procedure. About 30 to 45 minutes before treatment begins, your skin will be thoroughly cleansed and a topical numbing agent will be applied to the areas to be treated. Once your skin is numb, the processed and enriched blood will be injected across the treatment area using very fine needles to eliminate the risk of scarring. Treatment may be broad, covering the entire face or a large portion of it, or may be targeted at specific areas such as crow’s feet or laugh lines. The length of time for a treatment to be performed depends upon the extent of the treatment, typically ranging from about 30 minutes for an average procedure to an hour for more extensive treatments.
For most patients, there is no downtime associated with PRP treatment, and normal activity can be resumed right after the procedure. Any residual redness typically clears within a day and minor bruising, when it occurs, is easily concealed by cosmetics until it disappears within about a week. You should also be sure to protect your face from the sun during this period.
Most patients benefit from a series of three to six treatments performed four to six weeks apart to achieve the best results. After the initial series of treatments, additional maintenance treatments are typically performed every one to two years depending on your skin type to help maintain your results.
You’ll notice an improvement in your skin’s texture in about a month or less, and improvement will continue for several months as new collagen and keratin are produced. For most patients, results last for up to two years or longer. PRP facial rejuvenation can offer significant advantages, including a very low risk of side effects. To learn if PRP is right for you, call us today to schedule a consultation.
Hair loss affects many people today, with the majority of them facing the condition because of their genetic draw. In these instances, it’s caused by the thinning of the hair follicle to the point where no hair continues to grow from a particular area. Although typically associated to men, women are also affected by hair loss. When women face genetic hair loss, the condition could better be described as hair thinning rather than complete baldness. Overall, the condition afflicts such a wide portion of the population that many dermatologists have been working to come up with new forms of treatment. Platelet rich plasma therapy has come to the attention of many professionals and patients recently, but many people still have questions about what the treatment entails and the benefits of the procedure. Here are the basics of how platelet rich plasma therapy works and the advantages it offers patients.
Platelet rich plasma therapy involves taking some of the patient’s own blood and separating the platelet rich plasma from the rest with a centrifuge and combining it with an activating compound. The patient’s scalp is then numbed and the plasma is strategically injected into the scalp. Platelets are excellent for stimulating growth and healing, which means there are two main ways that the treatment can be used.
Some dermatologists use the platelets to halt and reverse the thinning of the hair follicles, which is causing the hair loss. Others choose to use the therapy in conjunction with hair transplants. Since the plasma helps to stimulate growth and healing, it can be used to help with the recovery following a hair transplant.
The first benefit noticed by many patients and their doctors is that the plasma is developed from the patient’s own blood. This eliminates risks associated with donor genetic materials such as allergies, hypersensitivity, and other adverse reactions. Many patients are also drawn to the natural qualities of using elements of their own body rather than chemicals or donated cells.
The second benefit, which many patients like to hear, is the effectiveness of the treatment. When used to stimulate the restoration of hair follicles, studies have shown it to be very effective. It is important to note that the procedure works better for certain conditions than for others. In the cases of androgenetic or hereditary alopecia (hair loss), which causes the hair follicles to thin until hair is no longer able to grow, the procedure has been especially effective. Typically, results are seen within 3-6 months following treatment. The best results are also seen in those who started experiencing hair loss rather recently rather than those with advanced conditions, as the treatment works with the hair follicles that are still present.
The results have also been strong in patients who experienced hair loss due to alopecia areata (spot baldness) or similar diseases, when the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Hair loss as a result of chemotherapy treatments or radiation, however, has not been shown to respond well to the treatments.
Dr. Shapiro has also been practicing PRP for hair loss at Sadick Dermatology for almost a decade.