Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, also known as the ‘Vampire Facelift’ or ‘Dracula Therapy’, works on the basis that the body’s own natural healing powers may slow and even reverse the ageing process – it’s a revolutionary repair system that places growth factors in the exact location where we want the skin to repair and rejuvenate itself.
Platelets contain a high content of “growth factors” – proteins that help to heal injured tissue or damaged skin. Upon re-injection the platelets release their growth factors which trigger surrounding cells to proliferate, in turn stimulating repair, increasing volume and rejuvenating the skin.
The therapy is said to plump skin, fill out fine lines and wrinkles, and give an overall more radiant appearance. The procedure also has fantastic healing benefits for injuries.
PRP therapy involves harvesting platelets from the patient’s own blood in order to inject them into problem skin areas, giving it the nicknames Vampire Facelift and Dracula Therapy. Before the procedure, blood is taken from the patient and put into a centrifuge, where the blood is spun in order to separate the red blood cells from the platelet plasma. The platelet plasma, which is the component of the blood that is known for being highly effective in treating burns and skin injuries, is then activated and injected into the chosen area, where it plumps up the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
When the platelet plasma is injected into the skin, the platelets release their growth factors. The growth factors stimulate other cells surrounding the injection site, plumping them up and causing them to increase in volume. The platelet plasma sends out signals to other cells in the body when it is injected, telling them to rush forward to the injection site.
One cell that is stimulated during the process is the fibroblast cell, which is the cell type that creates collagen. Collagen is what gives skin a youthful appearance. As we age, collagen is produced less and less, causing wrinkles and fine lines in the skin, and therapies such as PRP therapy that stimulate collagen production can counteract this. Another cell stimulated during the process is the pre-adipocyte cell, which is a cell type that can convert into a fat cell, which is especially important in the face to fill out lines and to contour the face.
PRP therapy can be used on the face, particularly around the eyes, mouth and nose, the backs of the hands, scars and all over the body, more commonly the décolletage and even the knees to give skin a more youthful and radiant appearance.
your practitioner will draw your blood. This is done in a similar way to when you have blood taken for testing at the doctor’s office.
The blood will then be spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelet plasma from the red blood cells using one of the branded systems described.
Any makeup on the skin will be removed using a wipe, and antiseptic will be applied to the injection site. A topical local anaesthetic will then be applied to the skin of the injection site for 30 minutes.
The PRP will then be injected into the skin, with aseptic technique, in the desired area using a very fine needle. Injections will be given multiple times in multiple locations in order to give an overall improvement to the area.
The treatment usually takes 60-90 minutes. It is very important that patients eat and drink a lot of fluids before attending their appointment. This will enable the blood to be withdrawn more easily.
It may take a few weeks for the results of the PRP therapy to become.
The actual procedure of injecting the PRP involves the use of topical anaesthetic, although not always depending on the patient and area being treated, rather than local or general anaesthetic, meaning that most patients feel comfortable returning to their normal activities not long afterwards. It is important to be aware that due to there being many injections at the treatment sites, the areas can look swollen, bumpy and red post treatment and these effects can last for a couple of days so it is best to have some time to recover.