PRP is an innovative therapy that is being used for skin rejuvenation and Hair loss. The procedure entails drawing blood from a patient and then spinning it in a centrifuge machine. This generates a layer of concentrated platelets and growth factors that can possibly regenerate damaged tissue such as hair follicles or improving the integrity of your skin.
The human body has an inherent ability to heal tissue, but in certain areas that capacity is diminishes. New cells are created all the time in the body, in order to replace old or damaged tissue, in most but not all areas with age, this capability decreases. Even in younger individuals, the capability is slight (e.g. knee cartilage when damaged).
Certain conditions, such as degenerative arthritis, can cause severe joint pain, and conventional medicine offers treatment that may mask the pain temporarily, but not alter the condition itself. With the help of regenerative medicine and options such as platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP), things are changing right now to repair damaged tissue and to stimulate collagen production in the skin.
Here is a partial list of the conditions PRP helps considerably
- Hair Loss
- Fine lines and Wrinkles
- Scars from prior surgeries
- Scars from acne or other skin blemishes
Athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Dwight Howard, to name a few have benefited from PRP therapy in their joints over the years.
How is PRP made?
Plasma makes up the liquid part of human blood, and it contains red cells, white cells, and platelets.
Platelets exist in the blood all the time. They play a vital role in blood clotting during an injury and with helping the repair process itself. Once activated, they start releasing proteins responsible for healing, called growth factors. When platelet rich plasma is administered to a person, these growth factors speed up the body’s normal healing capability and may push it farther than it would normally go.
Also, the platelets and growth factors send out signals which calls in the body’s stem cells as well to promote healing. The damaged tissue is replaced by new cells.
Because Hair loss and osteoarthritis have few surefire treatments and there are minimal risks associated with platelet-rich plasma injections, some doctors believe PRP therapy is worth trying. Patients should keep in mind that PRP is not a cure-all, and it may be best used in combination with nonsurgical treatments and lifestyle changes, such as physical therapy, weight loss, bracing, and NSAIDs.
Complete References for Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy for Arthritis
- Van Buul GM, Koevoet WLM, Kops N, et al. Platelet-rich plasma relea- sate inhibits inflammatory processes in osteoarthritic chondrocytes. Am J Sports Med. 2011;39:2362–2370.
- Anitua E, Sanchez M, Nurden AT, et al. Platelet-released growth factors enhance the secretion of hyaluronic acid and induce hepatocyte growth factor production by synovial fibroblasts from arthritic patients. Rheuma- tology (Oxford). 2007;46:1769–1772.
- The International Cellular Medical Society. Guidelines for the Use of Platelet Rich Plasma. Adopted 2011. www.cellmedicinesociety.org. Accessed August 15, 2013.
- Center for Disease Control. Spotlight Osteoarthritis: Lifetime Risk of Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis. Updated October 20, 2010. www.cdc.gov. Accessed October 22, 2013.