PRP, platelet rich plasma, is all the buzz in cosmetic medicine! Have you heard of it? It is associated with the infamous Vampire Facelift, hair growth for balding, orthopedic procedures, dental procedures, urology procedures, sexual dysfunction….and the list goes on. It’s nothing new; in fact, it’s as old as blood! However, it’s gaining quite a following in the aesthetic medical arena. So what exactly is it?
PRP is a concentration of platelets in a small volume of plasma, a component of blood. Platelets are important because they are the part of blood that helps form clots. Too many platelets make you susceptible to blood clots and are bad. Too few make you susceptible to bleeding and are bad as well. The thing about platelets that you may not know is that they release numerous growth factors that help the body respond to injury and deterioration. These growth factors promote different functions, such as building collagen, thickening the skin, stimulating hair growth, etc. When used in conjunction with facial procedures such as micro-needling, growth factors can enhance facial tone and create a smooth texture of the skin. When injected under the skin, these growth factors can create tissue growth and support for sagging skin. Voilá – the Vampire Facelift with PRP!
The advantages of PRP are numerous and continue to grow, pun intended. The “organic generation”, as I call them, is obsessed with products and services that are natural. Since PRP is a component of the patient’s own blood there is nothing ‘foreign’ being put in the body. There is no risk of rejection, reaction, or infection. As an injector, I love PRP! When injected, it finds the area of need and goes to work there. Much like when a liquid is poured onto an uneven surface; the liquid fills in the hollow parts until a smooth surface is achieved. This makes it difficult or impossible to create a peculiar appearance or to ‘mess up’ as an injector. You really can’t inject it into the wrong place. All tissue and every area could benefit from a little PRP.
Dr. Charles Runel’s has coined the clever names of the Vampire Facelift and Vampire Facial. The name came about because the provider takes the patient’s blood much like a routine lab test, and uses a machine to extract only the PRP, a clear yellow component. This liquid is either injected beneath the skin (Vampire Facelift) or diffused into the skin with micro-needling (Vampire Facial). Dr. Runel’s has authored a book, the Vampire Facelift, and has been featured on numerous TV programs. Hollywood has also enjoyed the benefits of PRP when a Vampire Facelift was found in the Oscar swag bags a couple of years ago!
PRP is here to stay. I predict in the years to come, as it is perfected and studied more, PRP will become an important aspect in medicine. Who knows? We may have finally found the source of eternal youth and beauty just like the vampires!