Many of us are keen to turn to more natural methods to improve our health and well-being, and that includes when considering cosmetic treatments, as well as medical, so what better than to use our own body to help heal areas of concern.
By using the natural healing power of the human body, in the shape of plasma from a sample of your own blood, Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP therapy can be used to restore health and function to many areas of the face and body, thanks to the high concentration of growth factors and other cells responsible for wound healing, repair, and regeneration of tissue.
Skin rejuvenation and anti-ageing, hair thinning and hair loss, joint pain, vaginal atrophy and vaginal dryness, erectile dysfunction.
Using a sample of blood taken from your arm, just as would happen if you visited your GP practice for a blood test, we create Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP. We do that by placing the tube containing the blood inside a centrifuge that spins the tube at an optimum speed causing the components of the blood to separate out into the red blood cells (which we don't need) and the plasma (which we do).
The plasma is yellow in colour and contains a concentration of platelets and growth factors, amongst other core cellular building blocks. Platelets are the cells responsible for clotting and stopping bleeding if we suffer from injury, and growth factors do exactly what the name suggests and help to stimulate a wound healing response within the body to repair damage and injury. For this reason, the plasma harvested for PRP treatment is often referred to as 'liquid gold', providing a natural treatment that can be targeted where healing, restoration or regeneration of tissue is most needed due to trauma, ageing, or hormonal changes.
At Blemish Clinic, we use the PureSpin PRP® system that delivers a high volume of viable platelets within the harvested sample prepared for reinjection. The system requires only a small blood sample because it is more efficient at harvesting and recovering the platelets than similar systems available to aesthetic practitioners, and does so in a closed environment for increased safety, with significant speed to reduce preparation and treatment time.
Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP Therapy is regarded as a component of an exciting new field called Regenerative Medicine. The medical applications for Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy are extensive, and it is now used more and more by everyone from orthopaedic surgeons to dentists, trichologists, and those involved in cosmetic dermatology and medical aesthetics.
You can see why it gets its moniker of liquid gold, because PRP is increasingly and more widely used to improve skin ageing, would healing in dental interventions, address joint pain or arthritis, muscle injuries, tennis elbow, and tendonitis, restore hair loss or thinning by stimulating hair growth, and address female and male concerns related to sexual health including vaginal atrophy and dryness, common with menopause that can cause painful sexual intercourse, as well as issues with erectile dysfunction.
PRP is a natural wound healer and tissue regeneration tool that we use at the Blemish Clinic both as a stand-alone treatment but also in combination with other treatments to further optimise the results that we can achieve for our patients.
In medical aesthetics, the most common use for Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is as a tool to improve age-related skin damage and help with skin rejuvenation by stimulating the regeneration of collagen in the face to improve skin texture, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, especially wrinkling around the delicate eye area where skin is thin and not suitable for commonly used anti-wrinkle injections. The PRP serum can either be directly injected into the skin using a mesotherapy technique with multiple, tiny injections using a very fine needle, or placed directly on the skin and transferred into the tissue using a micro-needling technique.
Hair thinning and hair loss can be a problem for both men and women, associated with both ageing and hormonal changes. PRP is a useful tool to use either alone or in conjunction with other hair loss medications or following hair transplant surgery. By placing a high concentration of growth factors and platelets into the scalp, we can stimulate increased blood flow to the area to promote hair growth and a restoration of the health of the hair. This treatment is especially helpful for encouraging stronger hair growth, improving thinning hair, or to kick start the growth of transplanted hair, akin to adding fertiliser to the area to improve the natural healing response.
Joint pain is common in both older and younger patients – from causes related to arthritis to issues such as stiff knees, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis in the feet, and tendonitis. PRP is increasing being used to encourage relubrication of joints, to relieve pain and inflammation.
The hormonal impact of the menopause, including peri- and post- stages can cause a degeneration in the health and function of the vulva and the internal vagina in women. Many stay silent and mark it down as something to live with, however vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy can cause discomfort in daily life, lead to painful intercourse, issues with urination control, and an unfulfilling sex life with a partner. PRP is injected into the vaginal tissue to stimulate regeneration and the growth of renewed and healthier vaginal tissue, increasing blood flow and hydration to the area.
The PRP serum is injected as an intracavernosal injection, this means an injection into the base of the penis, this technique is often used to deliver other medications and pharmaceuticals used to treat erectile dysfunction. The PRP seeks to stimulate tissue regeneration and improve blood supply to improve sexual function and the ability to produce and maintain an erection.
This will depend on the area and condition being treated, and how your results progress. A programme of treatment and evaluation will be tailored to your specific concern and the likely improvements we can achieve with PRP alone, or in combination with other treatments. In most cases a course of treatments will be recommended for optimal improvements.
It may be that a single session, alongside other treatments is enough to stimulate the responses we need within your body, or similarly it may be beneficial to include it at significant milestones along a wider treatment plan. Our experts can discuss this with you during your consultation.
As PRP therapy uses your own blood to create the serum used for reinjection, the treatment is considered safe and usually suitable for all otherwise healthy adults, both men and women.
A full medical history and consultation will be undertaken before treatment with our medical practitioners because there are some health conditions related to your blood, blood clotting or bleeding disorders that may make you unsuitable for treatment. If you have been diagnosed with anaemia, have an active infection, or a metastatic disease (cancer) you will not be suitable for Platelet Rich Plasma therapy.
Similarly, you will discuss any medications or known allergies that could also impact on your suitability, such as anticoagulation therapies.
If you are pregnant or breast feeding, you will not be suitable for treatment and will be asked to wait.
PRP therapy is regarded as a very low risk and safe procedure because it uses components from a sample of your own blood. The risk of allergic reaction is much reduced compared to other injectable treatments and products.
The procedure involves drawing a blood sample, so you should ensure that you have eaten and kept hydrated before your appointment as there is a risk you may feel lightheaded which could cause you to faint, simply due to the act of removing a small sample of blood.
Because PRP is using your body’s natural wound healing response, alongside placement of a high concentration of active platelets and growth factors, the process is not immediate. Depending on the area being treated and the condition we are aiming to improve, you should start to see results from 2-6 weeks after your PRP treatment session. This may include improvements in the health of the area treated, such as rehydrated tissue, reduced discomfort, cell renewal including skin and hair etc.
Usually, you will need a course of treatments to achieve the best results for the condition being treated, especially with treatments for hair loss and skin rejuvenation.
Following a course of PRP treatment, you can expect a positive outcome for anything from 12-24 months, depending on the area treated. Results are not permanent and ageing and hormonal problems can still cause your original symptoms and problems to return.
We recommend a maintenance programme of retreatment every 6-12 months so you can continue to reap the benefits of the initial results.
We believe in being transparent with our prices and want you to be fully aware and comfortable with the cost of your treatment. A full list of our prices can be found here. We will always agree a final price with you though before treatment commences.
To use the natural healing power of the body to restore damaged or aged tissue, improving the health and function of tissue by applying a platelet and growth factor rich serum produced from an autologous sample of blood.
A small sample of blood is taken, in the same way as performed for a blood test. The blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate out the plasma so it can be reinjected in a high concentration to an area needing regeneration where it will stimulate a wound healing response and the production of new collagen.
Results take time as the body activates the response to the growth factors and platelets, but results achieved will be natural-looking, skin should look healthier, brighter, and more hydrated, with an improvement in texture and tone. Other areas treated including joints and conditions affecting sexual health will improve due to the increased wound healing, collagen renewal, and hydration with the area. Multiple treatments are often required to achieve a good long-term result.
The time taken for treatment will include the taking of the blood sample, the time taken to produce the plasma for reinjection, and the final treatment itself. Expect this to take 45-60 minutes.
You may experience a sharp scratch from the needle used to take the blood sample. The delivery of the PRP requires multiple injections or the use of micro-needling, however, a numbing cream can be applied to minimise any discomfort.
There is minimal recovery time from PRP treatment. You may have a small bruise or mark on your arm where the blood sample was taken. Also expect some redness, that will resolve quickly, in the area injected with the resultant PRP.