Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a medical procedure that uses an increased concentration of autologous platelets suspended in a small amount of plasma after centrifugation to inject into a target zone.
Normally, blood is composed of 93% red blood cells (RBC), 6% platelets, and 1% of white blood cells (WBC); all components are suspended in plasma. In platelet-rich plasma, the percentage of platelets is increased to 94%, while the percentage of red blood cell count is decreased to 5% because they are not essential in the healing process. As a result, the patient’s plasma becomes very rich in platelet count in comparison with normal blood concentration.
The procedure begins with withdrawing blood from the patient’s arm through a syringe. The collected blood is collected into tubes which are then placed into a centrifuge. The speed and duration of centrifugation need to be carefully set in order to avoid damaging the platelets. During the process of centrifugation, RBC, WBC, and platelets are separated according to their concentration levels. The blood plasma rich in platelets is extracted from the appropriate level for further procedure. An activating agent, such as calcium chloride, is added to activate platelets so they can release their content.
Platelets are extremely essential in blood clotting. Once a blood vessel is disrupted by injury and bleeding occurs, platelets get activated to assist in the formation of the clot which stems from the blood flow. Moreover, every platelet is involved in regulating, signaling, and growth-factor molecules for the recovery and healing of damaged tissues as a result of injury.
Since PRP is an autologous procedure, it is considered to be much safer compared to allogenic and/or homologous methods. It also prevents the transmission of diseases like hepatitis, HIV, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and West Nile fever.
PRP is also better accepted by the patient’s body because it eliminates the risks of graft versus host disease as well as does not cause any challenges associated with the formation of antibodies.
PRP promotes the healing of soft tissues through growth factors that are released after the degranulation of platelets. These growth factors stimulate the physiological processes essential for the recovery and healing of tissue(s) after an injury. The healing process is aided in many ways. For instance, growth factors attract undifferentiated stem cells into the newly formed matrix which leads to cell division. The inflammation is being limited and the release of cytokines is being suppressed. More macrophages are being attracted to enhance the healing and regenerating process of tissue. Lastly, the capillary growth for the formation of new blood cells is also stimulated.
The use of platelet-rich plasma injections in Dermatology has solid scientific grounds in treating multiple skin conditions. First and second-degree thermal burns can be reduced with PRP injections. Cuts, surgical wounds, and any other superficial injuries are also treated with PRP.
Moreover, patients affected by hair loss find platelet-rich plasma injections to be highly effective after the course of treatment. PRP causes the reinvigoration of dormant hair follicles which in return stimulates the new hair growth in patients diagnosed with male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss.
Platelet-rich plasma injections are also very beneficial in achieving facial rejuvenation. These injections can treat wrinkles, discoloration, and photodamage.
PRP is considered to be immunologically neutral with no adverse risks of foreign-body reactions, hypersensitivity, and/or allergy. As previously mentioned, the use of platelet-rich plasma injections in Dermatology has solid scientific grounds in treating multiple skin conditions, and multiple published papers confirm it:
Individuals with the following medical conditions are prohibited from treatments with PRP: chronic liver disease, sepsis, acute and chronic infections, critical thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), and hypofibrinogenemia.
Centre for Medical and Surgical Dermatology offers platelet-rich plasma injections as one of the treatment options for various skin conditions. Every treatment course is unique for every patient. For more information on this treatment, visit the following link: