Throughout history, human blood has played an interesting, albeit strange, role as a treatment to various ailments. Even long before scientists determined how blood worked and that it could be used to save lives through transfusions, it was considered a regenerative life force. On the other side of the spectrum was ‘bloodletting’, a common form of treatment during ancient times. By withdrawing blood from a patient, doctors believed they were restoring harmony in the body and it was used to cure anything of a sore throat to fever and even the plague (a serious bacterial infection that can be deadly). Thankfully today, we have a much better understanding of how blood works and in exactly what manner it can be applied or extracted to save lives and improve our health. And with that as background, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatments might not seem that strange or unusual after all.
An increasing amount of studies are putting PRP treatments to the test so that the value of such treatments- to rejuvenate anything from the scalp to dark circles under the eyes- can be scientifically determined. Before we talk research, let’s just quickly recap why PRP is considered rejuvenating liquid gold.
The blood that is drawn from the patient is placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the red blood cells. The platelets are concentrated in a yellow fluid called plasma, that consists of various proteins, including growth factors. Growth factors (GF) are part of our body’s unique mechanism that helps us to heal or regenerate when an injury occurs. If GF’s can be concentrated and injected to a specific area, then technically it should be able to trigger regeneration as it spontaneously does in our bodies.
PRP is widely used to treat hair loss, especially Androgenetic Alopecia, which affects many men around the world. In one study it was found that PRP delivered better results compared to topically applied minoxidil, which is an accepted treatment for hair loss. Researchers found that after six months, the patients that received PRP treatment were happier with their results than those that were given minoxidil. The PRP patients also fared much better during the hair pull test and hair growth questionnaire. PRP is also used to treat Alopecia Areata which is an autoimmune condition that has limited treatment options. The study published in the British Journal of Dermatology2 found that PRP treatments may serve as a safe and effective treatment for Alopecia Areata.
PRP is a safe and non-invasive alternative treatment to many other aesthetic treatments. Deep wrinkles are regularly treated with hyaluronic acid which is used to lift and fill out wrinkles. Though it is considered safe and effective, HA fillers do not encourage skin rejuvenation and only lasts six months to a year, whereas PRP restores the skin for long-term results. A study completed by the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery3 concluded that PRP is effective in treating wrinkles and depressed areas of the skin on the face and body.
Many South Africans unknowingly have photodamaged skin. We see wrinkles, pigmentation, dehydration, skin inconsistency and fine lines in which we think is just normal skin ageing, when in fact, it is the result of prolonged sun exposure. Fractional lasers offer great results but are often invasive and require extended down-time for the patient. Botulinum toxin and hyaluronic fillers also offer fairly good results but require continued treatment as it wears off. PRP treatments are less invasive, have minimal, if any, downtime and deliver long-lasting results as they can regenerate the skin from the inside-out, and not simply paralyze or fill-out the skin. When combined with microneedling, PRP treatments offer promising results in rejuvenating the skin.
Many patients, especially women in their late 30’s and 40’s become concerned with infraorbital skin hyperpigmentation under their eyes. Dark circles are early signs of ageing that may also be exacerbated by the patient’s lifestyle. In a study published by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, researchers found a significant improvement of dark circles after only one injection of PRP5. Patients also reported feeling satisfied with the results after three months of post-treatment. A series of PRP treatments may speed up and improve results.
How to ensure you get the best results from your PRP treatment
Not all PRP systems/devices are created equal, therefore you must ask your doctor what equipment he or she uses to prepare the PRP. The Arthrex® Double Syringe System allows for superior personal cell therapy that’s of the highest quality.
The unique double designed syringe from Arthrex® allows for closed and easy production of PRP. This innovative system from Arthrex® is easy to use and has proven efficacy without compromising safety or quality.
The added benefits of the Arthrex® Double Syringe System is that it’s extremely safe – the whole procedure is closed, and no needles are required to prevent infections or needle-stick injuries. It’s easy and user-friendly, eliminating incorrect use or any additional problems. Centrifugation time is quick and requires only a few minutes to produce the plasma, in comparison to traditional systems that can take up to 45 minutes to process the blood into plasma for application. Finally, Arthrex® is a global leader in the manufacturing of medical devices so you can rest assured that the strictest measures were applied during manufacturing to ensure the best treatment.
For more information on the Arthrex® Double Syringe System or to become a physician stockist, please contact us today.