What is plasma, and what are platelets?
Plasma is the liquid portion of whole blood. It is mainly composed of water and proteins, and it provides a medium for red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets to circulate through the body. Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are blood cells that cause blood clots. It is the backbone of all healing processes of the body.
What is platelet-rich plasma?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is plasma with concentrated platelets of patients himself.
What is platelet-rich plasma therapy?
It is injections of PRP; it has a variety of indications in different fields of medicine. It is used to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. In dermatology, PRP injections are used in hair loss, facial skin rejuvenation, acne scar, superficial wrinkles.
How does PRP treatment work?
The platelets contain various proteins that can improve cell proliferation, blood vessel ingrowth, and eventual tissue healing. It has numerous growth factors when injected into the skin or hair root. It provides the stimulus for collagen regeneration, which improves skin texture, reduces scar, reduces fine wrinkles, growth factors keep hair follicles to stay for a longer time in anagen or growth phase, and minimizes hair fall. It also provides a stimulus to hair, which is in the dormant phase and does offer some new hair growth.
What are the steps involved in platelet-rich plasma therapy?
Step 1: Collect the patient’s blood.
Step 2: Centrifuge the blood.
Step 3: Process and collect the platelets.
Step 4: Inject the PRP into the desired site.
Is PRP safe?
The procedure itself appears very safe.
You may have a bit of pain, bruising, and swelling afterward. These tend to go away within 1-2 days.
How long does it take to see results?
If you get results, the full effects appear within a few weeks to months.
How many PRP injections do you need?
Researchers have found that most patients who get results have three or more treatments. That means you’d have to go to your dermatologist’s office three or more times to have better results.
What are the indications of PRP in dermatology?
- Hair loss
- Acne scar
- Stretch marks
- Skin rejuvenation
- Fine wrinkles
PRP and Hair fall :
Aesthetic plastic surgery in 2019 published a review article on platelet-rich plasma therapy on hair fall. According to this review article, PRP treatment reduces hair loss, increases the diameter of hair diameter and density of hair.
The patient should take PRP treatment, at least three sessions on one and half month basis for better result. It seems platelet plasma therapy is an excellent option for the maintenance treatment of hair fall. It does reduce the need for medicine.
PRP in acne scar :
Platelet-rich plasma therapy, along with other forms of treatment such as micro-needling, subcision, laser therapy, gives outstanding results in acne scar management. It induces collagen regeneration hence improves scar depth, improves skin firmness and texture of the skin, also help in reducing pigmentation. All these factors, in combination, help in rejuvenation of the skin.
PRP in stretch marks :
Platelets are a rich source growth factors; like in scar management, it promotes the growth of collagen and improves the elasticity of the skin; thus, it overall improves the appearance of striae or stretch marks.
PRP in hair transplant :
PRP treatment is very much associated with hair transplantation procedures. PRP therapy did pre hair transplant, intra transplant, and after hair transplantation.
During a hair transplant, hair follicles remain outside of the body for a few hours. When PRP is used during treatment, it has a certain advantage as
- Prevents dehydration of hair follicles
- Provide nutrition and oxygen to hair follicles.
- Provide homeostasis or a favourable environment to hair follicles for that period.
All these factors add survival or viability rate of hair follicles and, in turn, improves the quality of hair transplants. Now few media are also available for similar functions.
Who cannot have PRP rejuvenation?
While PRP is considered safe for most people, it’s not recommended for anyone who has one of the following medical conditions :
- Hepatitis C
- HIV or AIDS
- Any type of blood cancer
- Cardiovascular disease, which requires taking a blood thinner
- Skin cancer in the area to be treated
These conditions affect your platelets, making them unable to deliver the expected results.
How long do the results last?
Results can last as long as a few months. One can maintain results for long-duration by repeating sessions intermittently like once in three months.
What are the instructions to be followed by the patient undergoing PRP?
Pre-treatment instructions :
- Patients should discontinue blood-thinning agents such as vitamin E, vitamin A, Ginko, Garlic, Flax, Cod Liver Oil, and Essential Fatty Acids, and multivitamins, a minimum of 7 days (preferably 14 days) before treatment. It is fair to continue iron and vitamin D.
- Patients should avoid blood thinners, as they may represent a contraindication to this treatment. These medications include Plavix, Coumadin, and Heparin.
- The patient should avoid aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Voltaren, and other anti-inflammatory medications.
- Continue your necessary medication, especially related to cardiac or diabetes health problems.
On procedure day :
- Shower the morning of your treatment and wash your hair very thoroughly using your regular shampoo.
- Patients should not apply sprays, gels, or any other styling products to the hair.
- If you wear a hair system, please remove it before shampooing and not wear it before your PRP treatments.
- Please eat a regular breakfast or lunch on the day of your PRP session.
After procedure :
- Continue to avoid aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Voltaren, and other anti-inflammatory medications for three days after your procedure (if possible, try for seven days).
- Avoid vigorous exercise, sun, and heat exposure for at least two days after your treatment.
- Do not wet your hair for at least 3 hours after your treatment. • For the first three days, use a shampoo that is pH balanced.
- Do not use any hair products for at least 6 hours after your treatment.
- Be sure to take a hot shower and wash your hair that evening, after the treatment, to promote the effects of PRP.
- Avoid saunas, steam rooms, swimming for two days after your treatment.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and smoking for three days after treatment. Smokers do not heal well, and problems recur earlier, and results may take longer.
- Avoid resuming Minoxidil, hair coloring, and straightening for 1-2 days.