Platelet breakdown leads to the release of granules containing growth factors which stimulate cell proliferation and regeneration. For example, in the scalp this stimulates dormant hair follicles to activate and active follicles to proliferate. This is done by cell activation and increase in blood flow. In the skin, it stimulates cells (such as fibroblasts) in the extra-cellular matrix to upregulate their activity leading to increased Type I collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin. This helps improve the skin’s integrity, hydration, pigmentation and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
The treatment can be used for the scalp, face, neck, décolletage, hands and any scar tissue. It is advised to have 3 treatments a month or so apart and then a ‘booster’ treatment may be necessary 6 months after the last treatment. PRP treatment is commonly used by specialists to aid in tendon/ligament/muscle/ joint repair, as well as in dentistry and to help with sexual dysfunction (male and female).
After a thorough consultation followed by examination and time to consider the pros/cons of the treatment, patients will be booked in for a 45-60 minute appointment. During this appointment they have a small amount (typically approx 11mls) of blood drawn into a test tube from the arm or hand. The test tube is then put into a centrifuge, which spins at over 3000rpm for 10 minutes to ‘separate’ the plasma from the red blood cells (as this component is not needed for the treatment). During this time, the area to be treated will be anaesthetised with lidocaine either as a cream or multiple small injections. The treatment area is cleaned after the patient is adequately anaesthetised (and the centrifuge has stopped). Then the ‘plasma’ portion is drawn out of the test tube and transferred to smaller syringes which have a very fine needle attached to them. These are then used to inject the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to the treatment area.
Patients are advised to stop taking certain vitamin supplements (such as vitamin E, fish oils, ginseng, gingko) the day before the treatment as they can increase bleeding during the procedure. They are advised not to take aspirin or ibuprofen (unless required for medical purposes) for the same reason. In addition, they are asked to ensure they are well hydrated and have had something to eat prior to the treatment. Before a scalp treatment people are advised to wash their hair the night before and bring a hat to cover the head after treatment. It is not advisable to wash your hair for 48 hours after treatment or use any hair dye for a minimum of 7 days.
Vitamin C supplements can aid the healing process and can be taken throughout.
Results last approximately 6-12 months, but a ‘booster’ treatment may be required during this period.
Results take around 6-12 months to show in the scalp. However, results in the skin can be seen sooner in most patients – this depends on the length of their ‘skin cycle’. This is approximately 6 weeks in most adults (however increases with age) and most patients will see a difference in 1-2 cycles.
The commonest side effect in the face is bruising/swelling. This is due to the sheer number of injection points.
Contra-indications include: Platelet disorders, cancer, immunosuppression and any active infection or inflammation.
Individual treatments can vary from £300-700 depending on the size of the area to be treated and where the person is based. Average prices are around £400, however buying a ‘course’ of treatments will inevitably lead to a saving. Dr Lally charges £450 for an individual treatment or £1,200 for a course of three.
“This is an excellent treatment for patients wanting to use ‘something natural’ to help rejuvenate their appearance. As we are using your own blood, the risks associated with the procedure are generally very low and due to the fine needles used, downtime is short resulting in minimal disruption to your routine.”Meet our Experts