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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) – What Is It, And How Does It Work?

March 26, 2018

You might have heard about PRP, also known as Platelet-Rich Plasma, already since it is one of the latest skin trends. It is no surprise, though, if you’ve only heard about its name but not how it works. Especially since it is relatively new.

What is PRP?

PRP or Platelet-Rich Plasma is an injectable treatment. It contains a substance made from the patient’s own blood. Yes, that means your blood. This treatment seeks to stimulate the body’s innate healing ability.

How is the blood prepared?

Apparently, the platelet in our blood helps in repairing broken tissues and support the creation of new and healthy cells. Hence, scientists believe that they may help in the repair of other areas in the body as well, that is, if they are well concentrated.

So, the process of the treatment begins with the collection of blood from the patient. Then, the blood is put on a centrifuge to be processed until the special platelet mixture remains. The mixture is then injected into the target area.

What are PRP injections for?

Naturally, the first issues PRP injections were used for were for tendon and muscle-related injuries. Renowned athletes like Tiger Woods have catapulted this kind of treatment to fame. But today, PRP is becoming very popular in the cosmetic area too and is being used for hair growth and as companion treatment with microneedling (to further promote collagen production).

Is PRP safe?

PRP is regarded as a safe treatment since it utilizes the body’s own healing processes. Not to mention that the healing mixture is extracted from the patient’s own blood. However, it is not for everyone. A patient must undergo a thorough blood check in order to make sure that the blood is safe for the procedure. People with blood issues like infection or cancer may not undergo the treatment.

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How is the procedure done, and does it hurt?

The procedure starts with the patient’s blood being tested. After the blood is deemed safe, blood for the PRP treatment will be extracted. It will then be put on a centrifuge in order to break it down and get the platelets. This preparation process only takes around fifteen minutes. Once the mixture is made, it will be injected to the patient. Sometimes, a topical anaesthesia is applied to the target area in order to minimize discomfort. Otherwise, the pain level of this procedure is only low to moderate depending on the pain tolerance of the patient.

The recovery of the treatment depends on what type of procedure you got done. But if it comes down to the pain of the PRP, it doesn’t really last that long. For instance, with the microneedling and PRP combo, the general redness of the skin usually goes away within the day, and that’s primarily because of the microneedling procedure (which involves a handheld device with microneedles), not because of the PRP injection.

PRP is becoming more and more popular, hence more and more clinics are offering it as a treatment these days. Don’t be afraid to visit a clinic and ask any question you might have. We are sure that any board-certified doctor will be more than happy to answer them! Stay beautiful!

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