|Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for Facial Rejuvenation
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been used in Plastic Surgery and Orthopedic
Surgery for decades. The initial use of PRP was to accelerate wound healing
in burns and difficult to heal bone fractures. Recently PRP has been
popularized in the media due to the marketing efforts of a cosmetic surgeon
who coined (and now trademarked) the term
“vampire facelift”. PRP is different than Platelet Rich Fibrin Matrix.
PRP is the spun product of whole blood. Whole blood when spun seperates
into two basic components: red blood cells (rbc) and plasma. Plasma can be
separated into PRP and Platelet Poor Plasma (PPP). The greatest
concentration of Growth Factors (GF) which account for the growth of
collagen and therefore improved skin texture and tone are found in PRP.
There are several specific GF which when concentrated results in
angiogenesis (new blood vessels formation), increased collagen and hence
new younger denser skin. These GF are important in wound healing and
have demonstrated success in diabetic wound healing, bone fractures, and
In the realm of facial rejuvenation, PRP can easily be injected alone or mixed
with either hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, or fat into facial folds,
wrinkles, and hollows for temporary correction of volume deficits. The
effects of PRP are most notable at 5-6 weeks and may last up to eighteen
The following are the major Growth Factors found in PRP.
1. Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF)
2. Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β)
3. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)
4. Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF): IGF-1 and IGF-2.
5. Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)
The centrifuge method and device varies between manufactures and so
does the number of GF obtained.
For facial rejuvenation, seek a surgeon whose machine will produce a high
number of GF, low number of White Blood cells (WBC), low number of
cytokines (the protein that induce inflammation), and extremely low Red
Blood cells (RBC). Cytokines, WBC, RBC are not desirable and will result in
unnecessary pain and swelling.
According to the literature in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, placing PRP on the skin and stamping it into the epidermis has relatively zero value since the GFs will not reach the dermis to effect any long-term result. The same response could be achieved by placing water on the skin and stamping, since the trauma from stamping is more effective than the PRP.
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