You may have seen ads or articles boasting the healing power of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and wondered how it works, whether it’s safe, and if it might be a good fit for you.
At Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics in Holladay, Utah, Dr. Robert Topham and our team of skin specialists help people throughout the greater Salt Lake City area navigate their skin treatment options and decide whether PRP is right for them. Here’s a closer look at how it works.
The science behind PRP
PRP is one of several treatments that fall under the regenerative medicine umbrella, a field of health care that focuses on the body’s natural healing resources. For example, you may have heard of stem cell therapy, which introduces stem cells into an injured area so they can morph into the needed types of cells and repair the damaged tissue.
Instead of stem cells, PRP uses elements in your blood to speed up the healing process, reduce inflammation, and trigger a fresh flood of collagen and elastin.
The process is simple. We take a small sample of blood from your arm and spin it at high speed in a centrifuge to separate the blood into its individual components. Your red blood cells, which account for about 45% of the blood, collect on the bottom of the vial.
The top layer contains plasma (the liquid part of blood) with very few platelets. The middle layer (about 1% of the sample), called the buffy coat, is the one where white blood cells and most of your platelets gather. We combine the platelets with a small amount of plasma to make your PRP.
Platelet-rich plasma has multiple medical applications, and orthopedic surgeons often use it to address deep tissue damage to prevent or delay surgery and accelerate healing after surgery.
At Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics, we extract the PRP for use in conjunction with our state-of-the-art microneedling treatment.
Why microneedling with PRP is better than microneedling alone
Microneedling treats a wide range of skin complaints, including hyperpigmentation, sun damage, acne scars, and stretch marks. The process creates countless micro injuries that call your body’s healing mechanisms into play, which in turn refreshes your skin from the inside out. Microneedling alone is an effective treatment. But we’ve made it even better.
Adding PRP to your microneedling treatment gives your skin an unparalleled advantage in the fight against aging. The platelet-rich serum seeps into the micro perforations and penetrates down to deeper layers of your skin. Once they reach their target, the platelets release growth factors and other key proteins that promote cell division and regenerate damaged tissues.
The dynamic duo of microneedling and PRP accelerates your results and remodels your skin in a way that neither treatment can do alone.
Is PRP right for you?
Microneedling with PRP is safe and effective for almost everyone. It works best on mild-to-moderate signs of aging, and it’s a good fit for all skin types, including dark skin.
If you opt for microneedling with PRP, you can expect:
- Diminished sun spots
- More evenly toned skin
- Reduction in visible broken capillaries
- Faded acne scars
- Smaller pores
- Fewer fine lines and wrinkles
- Firmer skin
While just about everybody can undergo microneedling with PRP without any side effects or significant downtime, there are a few instances that might preclude you. For example, if you have a bleeding disorder or suffer from slow wound healing, you may not be a good candidate.
We may also advise against this treatment if you have active skin conditions, such as acne and rosacea. These precautions, however, pertain mainly to the microneedling part of the procedure, not PRP.
If microneedling with PRP sounds right for you, come talk to Dr. Topham to get more details. If it sounds like it’s not a good fit, we have many other treatment options that may suit you better. To learn more, call our office at 801-272-4408 to schedule an appointment.