You wake up, look in the mirror, and barely recognize the person staring back at you. The toll of time shows up in wrinkles on your face, sagging under eyes, thin skin, and thinning hair.
Dealing with the after-effects of aging can be difficult. It’s an extremely personal experience. You don’t believe that the person you see is you, but it is and you have to live with that.
Luckily, anti-aging medicines have advanced and they are showing us new and powerful ways to turn back the clock on aging.
Many common methods of anti-aging are now considered outdated. There is no need to go under the knife to improve the elasticity of your skin, to remove those wrinkles, or to improve under-eye bags. New technologies like regenerative medicines are improving how anti-aging works. And, actually, it’s extremely effective.
Read on to see the ways that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can improve facial aging.
What is Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP, which stands for platelet-rich plasma, is a small injectable procedure that uses a patient’s own blood to encourage growth and regenerative processes. While sounding a little macabre, PRP injections are completely safe as it uses the patient’s own blood for improvements.
Not all of the blood is injected; the blood is first placed in a centrifuge so that the platelets are separated from the other parts of the blood. The platelets, which are integral to repair, can encourage repair and regeneration at the injection site. PRP injections allow the patient to break down dead or blocked tissue and release growth factors. Growth factors then trigger tissue renewal and cell proliferation, both aspects of natural cell reproduction.
PRP injections can improve hair restoration, osteoarthritis, and other cosmetic enhancements like facial aging.
PRP is used in cosmetic treatments but also in functional treatments, like improving the recovery time of a musculoskeletal injury. PRP injections are highly effective for athletic injury, such as tendonitis, golfer’s elbow, or tennis elbow. Because it is a natural way to boost recovery, PRP can virtually replace pain medications like opioids.
How PRP Procedures Work
The procedure for PRP injections is fairly simple. It is conducted by a doctor at a regenerative medicine clinic and does not take more than a half-hour. The patient does not need to be put under or given topical anesthesia, although anesthesia can be administered if the patient is averse to needles.
In completing the procedure, the doctor first draws the patient’s blood. The blood is then processed in the centrifuge so that the platelets are separated from the other parts of the red blood cells. Processing the blood sample requires only 10 minutes, after which the blood will have separated into three layers: platelet-rich plasma, platelet-poor plasma, and red blood cells.
Finally, the injection is prepared and the platelet-rich blood is injected into the target area.
If you’re getting PRP for the first time in your face, hair, or in an area where injury has occurred, then you may be told to go in for three different visits all within four to six weeks. Some clinics may recommend touch up sessions as well, which might include single-session visits every six to 12 months.
Why PRP Over Other Facial Aging Procedures
PRP is a simple injection, so it does not require any anesthesia or overnight hospital stay. Because the procedure uses the patient’s own blood, there is minimal preparation involved. Patients might be encouraged to do things like drink a lot of water, avoid blood-thinning medication (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin), shower and wash the hair (especially if PRP is going to be injected into the scalp), and eat two hours before the procedure.
While the procedure takes only 30 minutes, the results can last for a while. Of course, it may take a while for the effects to show up. Some procedures take up to 3 months. Results tend to stick around; patients can go back in for touch-ups but they aren’t usually required unless the PRP injections didn’t hold.
If a patient is experiencing musculoskeletal pain, hair loss, or facial aging, know that the effects of PRP can last for over a year. Another overarching benefit to PRP injections is that there is no risk of communicable diseases. In general, the procedure is fairly affordable; depending on the provider, a PRP injection might cost about $400 to $500 per injection, upwards of $1,200 to $1,500 for the initial treatment.
Compared to other treatments, PRP has some significant benefits:
- No need to go under the knife
- No anesthesia or overnight stay
- Can go about your day as if nothing happened
- Effects are long-lasting (up to a year)
- Uses the patient’s own blood so is completely organic
- Can be administered into numerous injection sites
- 30-minute procedure
- No scars from the procedure!
- Improved signs of facial aging, hair loss, musculoskeletal pain, and other issues
Benefits of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Facial Aging
There are numerous benefits to taking PRP for facial aging. Facial aging mainly occurs because old skin cells permeate the face, and they don’t allow new skin cell growth. Additionally, we tend to produce fewer new cells as we get older. Therefore, PRP is one way of “cleaning” the blood cells in that area.
The new platelets injected into the face will stimulate growth and reduce some signs of aging. Patients might see fewer wrinkles on the face, a more uplifted facial appearance, thicker skin, fuller skin, and reduced bags under the eyes. PRP is a lot safer than going under the knife and it is extremely effective in delicate areas like under the eyes.
PRP improves elasticity, volume, and increases skin health and structural integrity. Some even think that the new platelets that are being injected are also stimulating collagen and elastin production, which helps create that fuller look. By increasing collagen and elastin production, the face will tighten up, be healthier and fuller, and reduce wrinkles, showing an improved look and function of the skin.
By boosting the platelet density of the cells in a given area, PRP encourages repair and regrowth where there was previously none. PRP has shown significant results when it comes to slowing down hair loss as well as encouraging natural hair regeneration and hair growth.
Side Effects of PRP for Facial Aging
PRP injections have some minimal side effects, which are natural for any type of medical procedure. PRP side effects are typically minor; patients might experience things like skin irritations, but this is most likely to occur if topical anesthesia is used. While this isn’t a major surgery, patients are encouraged to rest the day of.
Irritation might show at the site of injection, and this increases if that injection site is rubbed after the procedure. Patients can experience blood vessel or nerve injury, scar tissue and calcification at the point of the injection. There is also the chance for infection, but instances are minor.
Other side effects might arise if the patient has an overlapping condition or is taking certain medication prior to the procedure. If the patient has low platelet count, thyroid disease, metabolic disorder, or cancer, then they may not be eligible for this treatment. Always speak with a doctor first to better understand the PRP procedure and its effects.
A trusted medical provider sourced through ageEnvy can inform you of the pros and cons of PRP and help you decide if PRP is right for you. Find a trusted provider in your area so you can reap the benefits of PRP as soon as possible!