Or rather, got Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?
There seems to be a craze going around these days concerning all things vampire, and in honor of this collective blood sucking obsession and since one of my favorite shows, True Blood is back on TV, I found it appropriate that my first beauty blog entry would deal with the dermatologist’s take on this trend.
The vampire movement is not only popular among hormonally unstable pubilecent girls, (yes, I know that’s not a word) but is rapidly making an entry into the beauty industry as well, and as such it seems eternal youth is somewhat obtainable after all. Luckily the treatment is far more comfortable than “turning” and increasingly easy to come by as dermatologists the world around are adding it to their repertoire.
During the procedure, blood is drawn and shaken up a bit before the supernatant (the stuff floating on top) is injected back into you. The treatment is called: platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP), also known as the “Vampire Facelift”.
In true vampire spirit this technique is actually not as new as you might have thought, and has in fact been around for years. One might even say it is scientifically ancient, having been used clinically on humans since the 1970s.
The basis of its effect lie in the innate healing properties of platelets, mostly attributed to autologous growth factors and secretory proteins that may enhance the healing process on a cellular level. Furthermore, PRP enhances the recruitment, proliferation, and differentiation of cells involved in tissue regeneration. Its application ranges from implant dentistry and orthopaedics, and now also to aesthetic dermatology.
After blood is drawn it is centrifuged so that the different components of the blood is able to separate. The heavier components, being: the erythrocytes (red blood cells), and leukocytes (white blood cells) form a layer at the bottom of the tube, while the lighter cell fragments which are platelets, and the remaining plasma forms a layer on top. This platelet rich plasma contains a much higher concentration of platelets compared to the levels normally found in blood, the normal values ranging from 150.000-350.000/ microliter, and therein lays the reason for its beneficial outcome : For PRP to have a therapeutic effect at least 1.000000/microliter platelets are used in 5ml of plasma.
Platelet derived growth factors are biologically active substances that enhance tissue repair mechanisms, such as chemotaxis (increasing the chemical stimulus), cell proliferation, angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels), extracellular matrix deposistion, such as increased production of collagen type 1, vital for proper skin function, and skin remodelling.
The reason I like this procedure is simply due to the fact that it harvests your own biological potential for regeneration, an idea I’m particularly partial to. Also, since all components injected originate from your very organism it is completely hypoallergenic! The competing injectables on the market, often containing hyaluronic acid have been associated to higher hypersensitivity reactions and rejections than PRP. I additionally like the fact that results will vary from person to person based on individual differences in platelet levels, GF production and response, it just makes it all the more.. organic if you will.
As you will come to see, if you stick with me and this blog, I’m a huge fan of natural solutions to beauty questions, but I’m also a sucker (pun intended) for highly active ingredients and procedures able to give solid results, that’s why I love it when the two are combined, as it seems to be here, in the “vampire face lift”.
Thank you for reading, and please let me know what you think about this post! Questions and comments are welcomed.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Peptides: Key for Regeneration
Int J Pept. 2012; 2012: 532519.
Published online 2012 February 22. doi: 10.1155/2012/532519
Use of Platelet Rich Plasma Gel on Wound Healing: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Eplasty. 2011; 11: e38.
Published online 2011 September 15.
Use of platelet growth factors in treating wounds and soft-tissue injuries.
Department of Immunohematology, Blood Transfusion Centre of Slovenia, Slajmerjeva 6, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Panonica Adriat. 2007 Dec;16(4):156
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