Many factors can lead to premature ageing, but luckily there are new treatments available every day to help your skin regain its youthful vigour. As you age, elasticity in your skin reduces and collagen is destroyed. A new treatment known as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) can treat the effects of aging by injecting platelets and other growth factors into the face, which stimulates cells to produce more collagen and elastin.
Dr. Saumya T. Gautam, an aesthetic medical doctor and co-owner of S&S Aesthetics - who is specialising in aesthetic medicine and advanced skin health, she is passionate about protecting and preserving the largest organ of the body, the skin, explains what PRP is and how this new treatment works.
While it may feel daunting having platelets injected into your skin, they are large cells that help the body clot and serve to promote healing and rejuvenation. Just like when you cut yourself, platelets rush to the injury site and stick together to form a seal that stops the bleeding. This property helps the body heal itself and also releases chemicals that attract other cells to the injury site to help with the repair.
And that is not all, platelets also contain growth factors that can promote tissue regeneration by stimulating cell growth and multiplication.
“PRP therapy is a new treatment that is becoming increasingly popular,” says Dr. Saumya. “This treatment involves taking a small sample of your blood. Using a blood centrifuge machine, the platelets are then separated from the rest of the blood cells. The platelets are then injected back into your skin using a very fine needle.”
She adds that PRP skin therapy is beneficial for the skin as it can help stimulate collagen production and improve the overall appearance of the skin. It can also help to improve skin tone and texture, as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
PRP therapy can also be used to treat a variety of other ailments such as baldness, joint pains, sports injuries, erythema, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, and telangiectasia.
“Since PRP is made from your own blood, it is completely natural and safe,” she says. “Although the prospect of extracting blood and using needles to inject growth factors into the face may sound daunting, the procedure is actually quite simple, safe and relatively painless.”
How it works
For ease and comfort, a topical anesthetic is applied to the dermis to minimise any discomfort. After waiting for 20 to 30 minutes, once the area is completely numb, the patient is ready for the procedure to begin.
For patients who may be feeling uneasy around needles or experience anxiety at the mere thought of a syringe, the skin couture experts at S&S Aesthetics have the option of injecting the treatment using NanoSoft™ by Fillmed. The NanoSoft™ is around three times smaller than a normal injection needle. It improves patient comfort, minimises the risk of bruising and makes the rest of the aesthetic process so much easier.
“To ensure that the treatment is applied safely, we take every precaution and safety protocol is followed by our medical aesthetic experts,” explains Dr. Saumya.
If you want a more dramatic result, you can combine PRP treatment with micro-needling for even younger-looking skin. Micro-needling is a process that uses fine needles to create microscopic punctures in the skin, which can stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.
The micro-needling creates tiny channels in the skin, which allows the PRP to be absorbed more deeply. This can help to improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin, as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
“New advancements in technologies, like the 1NEED medical microneedling pen that we use - is one of the very few devices in the world to have a CE medical certificate for microneedling and microdermabrasion treatments - creates a far superior result,” she adds.
PRP facial treatments take around 60 to 90 minutes on average. This includes the time it takes to numb the face and prepare the PRP. The actual injection time is usually around 15 minutes. Most patients see optimal results after three PRP treatments spaced four to six weeks apart.
However, she notes that some patients may need more frequent treatment in order to maintain results.
Although the platelet-rich plasma facial is a new treatment, it shows great promise for those seeking a younger-looking complexion. The treatment is minimally invasive and can be done in a single session, making it an attractive option for busy people. In addition, there is little to no downtime after the procedure, which is another plus.
If you are considering this treatment, looking for advice or medical information on skin health you can go to www.sandsaesthetics.co.za or follow @sands_aesthetics.