PRP (platelet rich plasma) is a ground-breaking injectable technique that can be used to smooth out wrinkles and improve some irregularities, such as acne scars. Derived from your own blood, PRP is safe and the treatment does not require downtime.
PRFM stands for platelet rich fibrin matrix. PFRM contains PRP (platelet rich plasma). PRFM is contains a rich fibrin matrix that nourishes and contains platelets near the injection site. By keeping these platelets where they need to be, the release of growth factors (including stem cells) is locally concentrated and lasts longer. This then drives cellular growth, reduced healing time and stimulation of collagen production.
At the Zelken Institute, we often combine PRP injections with other skin enhancement treatments, such as microneedling. Whether used as a stand-alone treatment, or in combination with another retexturizing or rejuvenation technique, PRP injections are one of our most popular nonsurgical procedures.
PRP, which stands for Platelet Rich Plasma, has become increasingly popular but what is it? And is the clear yellow fluid that is oftentimes seen on Instagram and YouTube truly Platelet Rich Plasma or could it be PPP, or Platelet Poor Plasma?
Our blood is made of four main components: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. As you may already know, red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to specific tissues and carrying carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be exhaled out. White blood cells play a significant role in protecting our bodies from disease and illness. Platelets are known mainly for their importance in clotting blood, but they also contain proteins known as growth factors which aid in wound healing. The exact science behind the mechanism of action regarding PRP for skin rejuvenation is unclear but it is thought that the micro-insults caused by a microneedling device first stimulates the treated area. PRP is then applied or injected in the inflamed area to further stimulate the wound healing cascade. As a result, collagen then forms. As the collagen matures, it begins to tighten and shrink resulting in an overall tightening effect.
So how is PRP derived? You blood is drawn and placed into a centrifuge. The blood then begins to separate based on the molecular weight of each cell. The heavier cells, red blood cells, go to the bottom while the lighter components, plasma, go to the top. The platelets and white blood cells, being lighter than red blood cells but heavier than plasma, lays directly on top of the red blood cell layer, creating a thin layer of what is known as a buffy layer. This buffy layer is rich in platelets whereas the clear yellow plasma is poor in platelets. Although plasma, the clear yellow fluid, may contain small amounts of platelets and growth factors, it is best when the appearance of the fluid is cloudy with a reddish tint.
Typically, our provider will draw 2-4 vials of blood and place them in a centrifuge to spin for 6 minutes, causing the components to separate. When that process is done the PRP (and thus PRFM) can be harvested and injected in the desired area.
If you would like to know more about PRP and how it can improve the appearance of your skin, schedule a consultation at the Zelken Institute in Newport Beach.
The injections are relatively quick with very little pain at the injection site. A warm flushing feeling is typically felt as the PRFM is injected. This is a result of the changes that start to take place immediately, and a good sign that the growth factors are already working!
PRP has very minimal downtime. For a few days you may have a small bit of swelling and possibly bruising. It is very similar to the downtime of other injectables like Botox and fillers.
There are multiple practitioners and systems that offer PRP but not PRFM. We can use a system that maximizes the harvest of growth factors, including stem cells, from a closed system which maximizes results. Usually we wait 8-12 weeks to really see a difference.
People with a history of thrombocytopenia, hypofibrinogenaemia, sepsis, chronic liver disease, cancer and those on anti-coagulation therapy are not candidates for this procedure. We also advise patients who may not appreciate the full result to consider other options like laser and surgery if we feel they are better candidates. Finally, anyone considering PRP or PFRM or any “regenerative” procedure must understand that these treatments are experimental. While they have gained mainstream popularity and attention, we ask all patients to do their homework on the topic first.