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 Tweakments

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

How do you fancy a ‘Dracula Facial’ or a ‘Vampire Face Lift’? Neither? Ok, then, does the term ‘PRP’ sound more appealingly medical for a treatment to improve your skin texture? Rest assured that no vampires are actually used, let alone harmed, in either the production or the application of PRP, though your own blood is… Scroll down for all the FAQs on platelet-rich plasma.

PLP

EXPECT TO PAY

£ 800

TWEAKMENT TIME

30 minutes

LONGEVITY

Up to three months

ANAESTHESIA

None - numbing cream optional

DOWNTIME

Possible redness/swelling/bruising

Find a Practitioner Near You


VIDEO GALLERY


FAQ ABOUT Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)


What is PRP?

PRP – or Platelet-Rich Plasma, to give it its proper name – is a treatment that involves injecting plasma extracted from your own blood into the treatment area – the skin, if we’re talking about tweakments – in order to promote regeneration. PRP is used both in aesthetics and in medical treatments:

  • Aesthetics. PRP is primarily used to improve skin texture. For example, a practitioner injects plasma into the patient’s face to improve the skin.
  • Medicine. PRP is used to promote healing. For example, a sports doctor injects plasma into an inflamed knee-tendon to treat tendinitis.

Whichever way it is used, this Platelet Rich Plasma is derived from your blood which has been processed to separate the plasma and platelets from the red blood cells. Platelets are blood cells that play various important roles in the body. For PRP, the key role of platelets is transporting proteins that your body uses to repair damage; in everyday life, another key role of platelets is to help with blood clotting to limit bleeding.

What does PRP do?

First, you have a small amount of blood – about 15ml – taken from your arm. Vials containing this blood are placed in a centrifuge, which looks like a small medical version of a spin-dryer, and spun for five minutes until the red blood cells in the blood separate from the clear plasma. This plasma is packed with platelets, which are able to generate growth factors, which in turn can spot any damage within the skin and set about repairing it. That means the PRP is providing a home-grown tonic to regenerate the skin, once it is reinjected. Because the growth factors will become active soon after the plasma is extracted from the blood, the PRP is injected back into the skin as soon as it is ready, either with a cannula (a blunt type of needle) or a needle.

As an aesthetic treatment, PRP is good for improving skin texture because, along with that regeneration comes a nice fresher, smoother top layer to the skin. For anyone with an aversion to having foreign substances such as fillers injected into their face or decolletage, this is a viable alternative. It won’t give you the volume boost that dermal fillers provide, but it should smooth the skin and give it a glow, soften wrinkles, and plump up the skin’s surface.

Does PRP work?

Medical theorising, several small-scale studies (see the next section), and a great deal of anecdotal evidence all suggest that PRP works, but as yet there is no conclusive evidence to prove PRP is effective.

What is PRP used for?

PRP is used to treat a variety of issues ranging from skin texture to sports injuries:

  • Improve skin texture. As an aesthetic treatment, PRP is used to improve skin texture. PRP is typically used on the face, but it also works for other areas, such as the neck and the décolletage. Used under the eyes, it can soften the look of dark circles.
  • Promote healing in tendons and ligaments. One small-scale study has demonstrated PRP helping with injuries to knee tendons. Tendons and ligaments take ages to heal because the body gives them only a meagre blood supply, so it makes sense that PRP might help healing.
  • Reduce osteoarthritic pain. Another small-scale study has shown PRP injections to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis in knees.

Can PRP regrow hair?

Yet another small-scale study has shown PRP injections to help men reduce hair loss and grow more hair. In the beauty tweakments arena, PRP for improving hair growth is enormously popular, and I have several friends who have seen impressive improvements after a course of treatment.

Why is PRP known as the Vampire Facial?

Because the PRP is extracted from your own blood. And also because in 2012, Kim Kardashian posted a startling picture on Instagram of her face covered in blood, while having one of these treatments. If you’re wondering why there was blood all over her when plasma, as explained above, is clear, well, I don’t know. There should be nothing bloody about PRP. There’s a video on my youtube channel of me having PRP done wearing a white shirt and coming away without a speck of blood anywhere. But using blood in that KK picture certainly made it a whole lot more dramatic, and sent it viral…

Where can I get PRP?

You can use the Find a Practitioner tool on this website to find a practitioner who offers PRP.

How much does PRP cost?

The cost of aesthetic PRP treatment varies widely, depending on the clinic. Generally, PRP facial treatment costs £500 – £900.

Some clinics include other components, such as microneedling, in their aesthetic PRP treatments. Once the face (or neck, or hands) have been sufficiently needles so that the skin is riddled with tiny perforations, the PRP is spread over it, and can be absorbed. Another way of getting PRP into the skin without injections is to use the Tixel device on a low ‘mesotix’ setting; that way the heat energy from the device drives the PRP across the skin barrier without denaturing it in the process.

How long does PRP take?

PRP typically takes about 30 minutes to an hour.

You may need to have a course of several treatments at intervals of four to six weeks.

How long does PRP last?

The effects of PRP usually last around 18 months.

Are there any side effects to PRP?

Plasma derived from your own blood should be fully compatible with your body, so it shouldn’t produce any adverse reactions. However, the injections used to reintroduce the plasma may cause pain, bleeding, bruising or swelling.

What is it like to have PRP?

Here’s my experience from a PRP treatment in 2018

PRP is, in a word, disconcerting. It is bizarre yet rather exciting to think that my own body is able to provide a rejuvenating cocktail for my face.

Some doctors inject PRP all over the face using a needle, but Dr Olivier Amar, who is doing my treatment, prefers to reintroduce the PRP into the face via a cannula rather than a needle. A cannula is like a blunt needle, which sounds like a bad idea, but once it is under the skin, it can be steered gently around just under the skin, without stabbing through any fibrous bands or blood vessels in its path, which a needle might do.

Using the cannula, Dr Amar distributes the PRP evenly around my cheeks and that troublesome saggy bit at the side of the mouth by the chin, on both sides of my face. The big advantage of using a cannula for this treatment is that you don’t end up with a face covered in pin-prick injection marks. Surprisingly, having the cannula burrowing under my skin is perfectly comfortable. Creating the PRP took less than 10 minutes, and it took only another 10 minutes to have it re-injected into my face — one of the swiftest treatments I have tried.

A month later, the treated area of skin looked softer, clearer, and smoother, and a good deal more radiant than before.

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Hi Alice, I’m 52 (living in Cork, Ireland). My hair started shedding (Telogen Effluvium) four years ago and is still shedding, albeit less. Two years ago my doctor finally put me on oral Minoxidil and Spironolactone. I was then diagnosed with…

Ah, how tricky. I know you’re based in Ireland so these suggestions may be of limited use but things that might be worth contemplating are the Trichotest – a DNA swab thing that helps identify which methods of hair restoration may be better for an individual (though it sounds like you’ve already found from experience that minoxidil isn’t helpful – it doesn’t work for everyone). HRT is surely good. As is (though less proven) collagen supplements – I’m very keen on Totally Derma, which I have put on the shop on my website as it’s the Rolls-Royce of collagens and I find it v beneficial. As to why it keeps shedding – I…

Hi Alice. I can have vampire PRF microneedling when I like as my husband is a dentist and is trained in them. Would you do Ultherapy as well, or just one or the other? Thx

Ooh lucky you! PRP/PRF microneedling is a great treatment to supercharge the results that you get from energy treatments like Ultherapy, or laser, or radiofrequency/ RF microneedling. I'd ask him to treat you to the PRF immediately after the energy treatment, as that way you'll be helping your skin to enhance its recovery and that should mean even better results.…

Which tweakment do you recommend for under-eye wrinkles?

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