For those with wrinkled skin, Botox® injections can provide great relief. While it may be a natural sign of aging, the presence of wrinkles can be frustrating to some. Thanks to the scientific research and testing in the 1990s by several dermatologists, Botox® was approved in 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic…
How Medspas Use PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma Injections
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is a product derived from a patient's own blood components. Platelet-rich plasma injections have been in use since the 1970s during root canals, heart surgeries and other procedures to reduce the risk of infection and promote healing. With ongoing studies, researchers have discovered even more uses for PRP injections, both cosmetic and therapeutic. Due to the benefits of platelet-rich plasma, many medspas now offer the injections as part of their services.
What are PRP injections?
The function of platelets in the body is to stop bleeding by clotting and to repair injuries by promoting growth of new tissue. Platelet-rich plasma seeks to maximize the healing and growth factors by concentrating the number of platelets in the blood and delivering the enriching concentration to the area where it is needed.
Before a patient can receive a platelet-rich plasma injection, a doctor must draw a blood sample from them. This is usually accomplished with ultrasound guidance. Next, the doctor separates the various elements of the blood by placing the sample into a centrifuge. Once concentrated, the plasma contains more platelets than natural blood by a factor of five. The doctor then injects the platelet-rich plasma, along with some whole blood, into the patient's area of concern using a sterile needle.
PRP offers many benefits. There are very few side effects and almost no risk of an allergic reaction. It can be performed on an outpatient basis and requires almost no recovery time.
For orthopedic patients, platelet-rich plasma injection offers specific advantages over more traditional treatment methods, such as corticosteroids and surgery, because it facilitates healing in addition to relieving pain, and it is noninvasive. For patients seeking PRP for cosmetic purposes, it can be combined with other treatments for maximum effect.
How do medspas use platelet-rich plasma?
A medspa will likely provide PRP injections for one of two purposes: To reverse skin aging and/or hair loss or to treat orthopedic conditions. Some medspas may perform both types of services, while others may provide either one or the other.
Cosmetic uses for platelet-rich plasma
The growth factors in platelet-rich plasma help to promote the development of elastin and collagen in the skin, which can help to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and produce more youthful-looking skin. When combined with another technique, such as microneedling, PRP can also be effective at remodeling acne scars, reversing hair loss and even reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
Therapeutic uses for platelet-rich plasma
Initially used to reduce recovery time after surgery, the ability of platelet-rich plasma to promote healing is so strong that it is sometimes used to treat orthopedic conditions on its own. Musculoskeletal complaints for which PRP may prove an effective treatment include the following:
- Sprains or tears of a ligament
- Inflammation of a nerve
- Soft tissue injuries (e.g., bursitis or tendonitis)
- Joint pain/arthritis
When platelet-rich plasma injections are used to treat orthopedic conditions, the risk of side effects is minimal. However, soreness or inflammation of the infection site may occur for about 48 hours thereafter. Ice and pain medications should be sufficient to relieve symptoms.
Platelet-rich plasma injections must be performed by a physician. A doctor who runs a medspa may provide PRP as part of the cosmetic and therapeutic services they offer.
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