By Cosmetic Physician Ross VanAntwerp D.O., MPH
Platelets are a component of blood that helps the body to heal itself. Orthopedic surgeons have been injecting Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP) for years to heal tendons and ligaments, but now it is used with laser skin rejuvenation to repair sun damaged, aging, and acne scarred skin.
Platelets are cells in the blood that help stop wounds from bleeding. They concentrate in injured tissue and release a cascade of proteins and growth factors, which coordinate the bodies’ healing forces. Physicians obtain PRP by drawing the patient’s blood and spinning it in a centrifuge, causing the platelets to separate in the plasma. This platelet-rich plasma is pipetted out for use, and can be injected or topically spread into injured tissue to promote faster and better healing. Because PRP is obtained from the patient’s own blood, there are no problems with allergy or tissue rejection.
Tiger Woods had PRP injected into his injured knee in 2009, popularizing its use in orthopedics. Recently, PRP has been used in cosmetic dermatology to treat burns, wrinkles, discoloration, hair loss, and facial volume loss. Advances in ablative fractional laser technology make it possible to infuse PRP directly into the dermis via microscopic channels.
Carbon dioxide and Erbium Fractional Lasers vaporize thousands of microscopic channels into the skin, causing focused areas of injury called micro thermal zones. These channels are surrounded by intact tissue that stimulates new collagen and blood vessel development, resulting in thicker, smoother, and younger looking skin. Fractional laser treatments reduce wrinkles, improve acne scars, and clear sun damaged skin. However, ablative laser treatments often require prolonged recovery times. Many people have difficulty adjusting their schedule for a longer healing time. PRP is changing that.
Patients now experience the benefits of ablative fractional laser treatments with weekend recoveries, because of the addition of PRP into the procedure. PRP is massaged into the skin immediately after laser treatment. Dr. Jill Waibel, a leading researcher from Miami University, demonstrated the benefits of using ablative laser treatment to infuse PRP directly into the skin. Waibel observed that healing time is significantly decreased with better overall results.
Medical laser technology and medical uses for PRP are quickly evolving, creating new and improved treatment options for old problems. In the process, we continue to learn more about the many factors involved in skin physiology, and how to better transform damaged skin.
To find out if this treatment is right for you call 410-544-4600. Consultations are FREE.