What is PRP?
Everyone knows platelets in your blood are the critical element used by the body to clot blood and begin the process of repairing a wound. But what if it were possible to take a person’s own blood, separate out the platelets and plasma that are important to skin healing, and then re-inject the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) back into the patient’s face to initiate the creation of new collagen and rejuvenate the skin?
It is possible with platelet-rich plasma treatments at Stockton Dermatology in Phoenix, AZ.
The PRP Injection Procedure
At Stockton Dermatology, we begin the PRP process by:
- Taking a small amount of blood from you, about the same amount used for a typical lab test.
- That blood is then placed in a centrifuge that spins at a high rate and separates the different components of the blood.
- Red and white blood cells are divided from the platelets and the plasma (the clear fluid that makes blood liquid).
- This plasma now contains a higher than the normal number of platelets (four times higher) and is called platelet-rich plasma.
- Next, calcium chloride is added to “activate” the PRP serum.
- When injected back into target areas of the face, this activated PRP serum triggers a wound response in the skin, where healing platelets create a rich fibrin mesh, initiating the production of new collagen (the skin’s basic support protein).
At Stockton Dermatology in Phoenix, AZ, we apply a topical anesthetic to the areas to be treated and then use our microneedling device, complete with its 11 tiny sterile needles, to inject the PRP back into the skin. The combination of the micro-wounds and the PRP creates a rich healing environment where the skin actively rebuilds itself.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Skin Rejuvenation
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is the internal essence of your blood, containing fundamental protein growth factors. PRP has been used for years to speed the healing of joints, tendons, and muscle tissue in professional athletes. Now it can “heal” problems such as sun damage, acne scars and stretch marks, and the decreasing volume that is a part of normal aging.
Where Can a PRP Injection Be Used for Skin Rejuvenation?
PRP can be used to return the volume to faces that are beginning to look drawn due to volume loss. It will:
- Plump out cheek indentations
- Soften under eye hollows
- Improve the skin tone, tightness, and texture.
- It is also effective for addressing fine lines, discoloration, acne scars, and stretch marks.
When Will I See Results from a PRP Injection for Skin Rejuvenation?
Results begin to show themselves in three to four weeks as new collagen is added to the treatment areas, and these results continue to build for months. For the best results, we recommend three PRP treatments, spaced 1-2 months apart.
What Happens After a PRP Injection for Skin Rejuvenation?
The entire PRP session takes only around 15 minutes and is relatively painless. There isn’t any recovery time, but there can be some slight redness and swelling at the treatment sites. This will pass in one to three days.
PRP Skin Rejuvenation Before & Afters
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Hair Loss
How is Platelet-Rich Plasma Used for Hair Loss?
At Stockton Dermatology, we now also use PRP for the treatment of hair loss in both men and women. This treatment is relatively new, but is quickly receiving lots of interest because of its results in stopping hair loss and regrowing hair.
Just as with skin rejuvenation, the hair follicles respond to the healing power and growth factors in the platelets. In PRP, the platelets are highly concentrated for more healing effect.
When our hair starts thinning, the follicles spend more time in the transitional (catagen) and resting (telogen) phases. Hair only grows in the anagen, or growth, phase. To reverse or stem hair loss, the hair follicles need to be stimulated to spend more time growing and less time resting. That’s what the growth factors in PRP do.
PRP has three effects on the hair follicles and hair loss:
- Recruits new hairs to grow.
- Encourages the existing follicles to spend more time in the anagen phase.
- Stimulates the stem cells surrounding the follicles to become thicker. This reverses the miniaturization of the follicles that is part of hair thinning.
How is PRP Done for Hair Loss?
The procedure for attaining and concentrating the blood platelets is the same as with PRP for skin rejuvenation. Once we have created your PRP, we apply topical numbing anesthetic to the areas of your scalp where you are losing hair. Dr. Stockton then injects your PRP into the scalp at the level of the hair follicles.
The injections are systematic, made approximately every half-inch over the areas of thinning hair. The entire process takes only about 30 minutes.
Who is a Good Candidate for PRP for Hair Loss?
PRP is especially effective for patients with androgenic alopecia, which is a genetically determined type of hair thinning that typically occurs along the top of the scalp. It is more prevalent in women and shows up as a widening of the part. This is different than full baldness that is more prevalent in men.
PRP can reduce the hair loss first. Then it begins the process of stimulating the follicles to grow new hair, filling back in areas that have thinned.
When Can I Expect to See Results from PRP for Hair Loss?
At Stockton Dermatology, we’ve found that a consistent series of treatments can begin to deliver results in two to three months.
This is the pattern of PRP for hair loss results:
- The first change is a decrease in hair loss/shedding.
- Then hair regrows in the areas that have been thinning.
- Hair stays in the growth cycle longer, increasing hair length.
How Many Sessions are Needed for PRP Hair Loss Treatments?
Dr. Stockton finds the best results with monthly treatments for the first three to four months. From there, bi-annual treatments continue the process of slowing or halting hair loss and stimulating new hair regrowth.
Is PRP for Hair Loss Painful?
There is some pain with the PRP injections into your scalp. You do receive topical numbing across the areas, but you can still feel these injections to a degree.
What are the Risks with PRP for Hair Loss?
This is an extremely low risk treatment for hair loss. Because the PRP is created from the patient’s own blood, there isn’t any risk of a reaction to the PRP. You can have some bruising where the injections are made, but this usually resolves in a week or so. Patients find that cool air or ice packs help to mitigate any pain after your injections.