Dr Vikas Sharma
You may have heard of injured athletes trying to enhance their healing using platelet-rich plasma therapy. This therapy is used in skin rejuvenation for individuals looking for gradual but noticeable improvement in skin texture, tone, and colour.
The procedure involves either injecting or topically applying your own platelets to ‘heal’ wrinkles and scars. By using your plasma, this therapy provides a natural, minimally invasive alternative to surgery with virtually no side-effects. That’s why the therapy is becoming popular.
How does plasma therapy work? Platelet-rich plasma improves soft tissue healing via growth factors released after platelet degranulation. These growth factors initiate and enhance physiological processes that contribute to tissue recovery and healing.
What to expect
- Centrifuging separates the red and white blood cells and platelets and concentrates them at various levels in the tubes.
- Blood plasma that is rich in platelets is drawn off for therapeutic use.
Once the serum is prepared, it is injected or applied topically to the problem area. Then a micro-needler is used to push the serum into the skin at various depths.
Who can benefit?
People who want to add volume to their skin, scalp hair, reduce fine lines, or improve their skin’s texture, but who also want to avoid plastic surgery, are ideal candidates for platelet-rich plasma therapy. Patients typically get a series of treatments at regular intervals to get the most benefit from this therapy.
- Patients with moderate wrinkling due to exposure to sunlight or age can benefit from this treatment.
- Platelet-rich plasma is applied by superficial or deep dermal injection, areas commonly treated for rejuvenation include cheeks, around the eyes, jawline, back of hands, neck, knees, elbows, upper arms and post-pregnancy stretch marks.
- There is evidence that this therapy can help in the following skin conditions:
- Hair loss disorders: This method has been shown to reinvigorate dormant hair follicles and stimulate hair growth.
Facial rejuvenation: Platelet-rich plasma injections can treat wrinkles, photodamage and discoloration in conjunction together with other treatment modalities
Post-traumatic scars: Platelet-rich plasma combined with centrifuged fat tissue and fractional laser resurfacing help improve the appearance of scars.
(Dr Sharma is a Chandigarh-based dermatologist)