What is it all about?

Well, Platelet-rich Plasma injection (PRP) commonly referred to as “Vampire Facelift” – probably because of the use of blood – is collagen (a fibrous protein found in skin, bone and other connective tissues) stimulating therapy. In other words, injection of platelets into the face; mostly done to reverse the effect of aging on the face, the neck and hands although, it has a wide application of use, this method of rejuvenation is popularly known to be used by celebrities around the world including Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie. It has proven itself to be an effective therapy.  It has also been known to treat hair loss.

 What is Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy?

Human blood contains platelets which are responsible for healing; this is because of the presence collagens carried in the blood. These platelets are responsible for blood clotting which helps to reduce bleeding from open wounds on the body. It is contained in the human blood. Platelet-rich Plasma is merely a sample of your blood that’s rich in platelet (because it has been concentrated) hence provides much of this healing ability. It is concentrated to make it effective.

How does it work?

It involves taking samples of the human blood and concentrating it in a centrifuge before infusing it in areas of the skin where it is expected to repair damaged tissues. This particular method has been used to treat burns, aging skins, orthopedic, ophthalmology, and physiotherapy. It can also be used to speed up healing of wounds. During aging, the collagen and elastin in the skin reduce till it becomes depleted; this is because the rate of creation and the rate of destruction of cells and collagen is not consistent, so what PRP helps to achieve is to repair this collagen with a concentrate of platelets.

How effective is PRP?

Platelet-rich Plasma is a natural way of treatment; this makes it safe, simple and very useful. This method, therefore, improves the texture and tone of the skin being treated making it thicker, tauter and more flexible. What makes this method of treatment safe is because no external product is introduced into the body, that is the platelet concentrate blood is 100% from the patient, therefore, eliminating the probability of allergy or hypersensitivity of the skin.

What is the function of collagen?

To put simply, collagen are what makes youthfulness possible; they make the skin of the young one thick, tight, and succulent. Since proteins are the human body-building block, it turns out therefore that rich collagen is a key to maintaining a youthful look.

Where can it be used (its applications)?

As already mentioned; this method can be used to reduce aging by eliminating wrinkles from the face. Other applications include; eliminating thin skins that result from aging, treatment of lines (marionette, forehead lines, nasolabial lines, etc.) along the face and neck, elimination of stretch marks, eliminate acne scarring, burns and so on. Also it can be used to rejuvenate any dermal area and to reduce hair loss.

How is PRP performed?

Firstly, a blood test is conducted by an experienced doctor in the firm. A sample of the blood is collected with the quantity ranging from 6 – 60mls. The blood is put in a centrifuge where its various components are separated; the platelets rich blood was containing collagen is extracted from the blood. Meanwhile, the numbing cream is applied to the area to be treated in preparation for the infusion of the needle. The platelets are then infiltrated into the upper layers of the skin with the aid of the needle. However, the use of a cannula tube can be used alternatively to needles. The process takes no more than an hour. Mesotherapy follows.

Is one treatment of PRP enough?

No, it is not, it is advisable to perform approximately three PRP treatments within the space of one month. Aside from this, it is also important to maintain the effects of the platelet-rich plasma by renewing it in a yearly or two-year period. This will retard the aging process.

Is PRP treatment painful?

The injection of the needle is expected to be a little painful; to reduce this it is common practice to apply numbing cream on the face or areas of treatment in an hour before the actual injection. Paracetamol or other painkillers can also be used however it is inadvisable to use Ibuprofen because it can increase bruising. In addition to this; a vibrating instrument is also applied to the face or area of treatment; this instrument prevents the pain signal from being transmitted to the pain fibers. In other words, the vibrating instrument stops your nerves from sending messages of pain to the brain, therefore, reducing the sensation of pain.

What are the expected side effects of treatment?

A slight swelling should be expected which is expected to last after two days. Occasionally, bruising might occur especially if the patient is currently on Mesotherapy. The disappearance of the bruising depends on the patient. The probability of this happening, however, is higher with the use of Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Avril and other pain killers in few weeks (two) before PRP treatment. Redness in the treated area is also frequent however there is no cause for alarm because the redness will most likely disappear after twenty-four hours. Flakiness or dryness could also be noticed within the third to the seventh day.

How long do I have to wait before seeing the effect of the PRP treatment?

Collagen takes up to three months to begin; this implies that the effect of PRP treatment will only become pronounced after three months; however, the effects will become noticeable in just six weeks. The effect of PRP is long-lasting; generally, the improvement on the skin will last between nine months to a year.

 Can I use any other treatment while on PRP?

Yes, you can, in fact, PRP helps to accelerate the effectiveness of other treatments by improving the skin of the patient.


Fact of Edmonton
20% of Edmonton’s population are immigrants according to the National Household Survey 2011.


About the Author:

Ph.D., MSc, CDE, CRE, APA, MBA candidate, Director of Albany Cosmetic and Laser Centre INC


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