Liquid Gold.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an increased concentration of autologous platelets suspended in a small amount of plasma after centrifugation and used for injection into a wound or a particular skin condition.

Over the technical info? Basically, PRP has gained its reputation as liquid gold with research backing to show improvement in fine lines and wrinkles, hair loss, texture and scarring when topically placed and/or injected underneath the skin.

Things to know

Indications

  • Hair loss – PRP has been shown to reinvigorate dormant hair follicles and stimulate new hair growth in male pattern alopecia.
  • Facial rejuvenation – PRP injections can treat wrinkles, photo-damage and discoloration in conjunction together with other treatment modalities.
  • Post-traumatic scars – PRP combined with centrifuged fat tissue and fractional laser resurfacing improve the cosmetic appearance of scars.

How is PRP collected?

Blood is withdrawn from a patient’s arm by syringe.

  • The tubes containing withdrawn blood are placed in a centrifuge and spun using a carefully determined protocol.
  • The speed and duration of centrifugation are very important to ensure the platelets are not damaged.
  • 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 from the appropriate level for therapeutic use.
  • An activating agent (eg, calcium chloride) is added to activate the platelets and release their content prior to use.
  • Predictable and efficient compact systems to develop PRP are available commercially (eg, RegenLab, Switzerland) and can be used in office and hospital settings.

Safety and Contraindications

PRP is immunologically neutral and poses no danger of allergy, hypersensitivity or foreign-body reactions.

The following medical conditions are a contraindication for use of PRP:

  • Critical thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
  • Hypofibrinogenaemia
  • Haemodynamic instability (collapse)
  • Sepsis (infection)
  • Acute and chronic infections
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Anti-coagulation therapy (warfarin, dabigatran, heparin)