Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have cosmetic and medical uses. PRP therapy is getting more common, so there's a chance you might have this treatment at some point. The injections are considered regenerative treatments because they help your body repair itself. Here's an explanation of how PRP therapy is done and the types of conditions it might treat.
1. A Blood Sample Is Needed To Make PRP
PRP is platelet-rich plasma that's derived from a sample of your blood. Your blood has platelets, plasma, and other blood cells in it. When your blood sample is drawn, it's placed in a centrifuge and spun. When this is done, the plasma separates from the blood cells, so what's left is the plasma with platelets. Platelets contain growth factors, and those are what PRP therapy is based on.
2. PRP Is Different From Stem Cells
PRP injections and stem cell injections can be given together, but they are separate treatments. PRP injections are often given alone and have effective results, but they only contain growth factors. Stem cell injections differ in that they are derived from your fat or bone marrow and contain actual stem cells.
3. PRP Injections Stimulate Tissue Regeneration
The growth factors in PRP stimulate skin repair, blood vessel growth, and wound repair. Stimulation of skin repair is why the injections are used for cosmetic reasons. The injections help rebuild collagen and reduce wrinkles. You can have a PRP facial where the plasma is injected into your facial skin in several places, or the plasma can be used with microneedling.
PRP injections also help with wound and injury healing. They are sometimes given for a knee injury or plantar fasciitis. The injections are even given for hair loss. PRP injections may help with osteoarthritis, wound recovery after surgery, and injuries to joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
4. PRP Therapy Has A Low Risk Of Complications
The reason PRP therapy is so safe is that the plasma comes from your own body, so it doesn't cause a negative reaction. You may not see effects from an injection right away though. The growth factors go to work right away, but it takes time to build up collagen or repair tissues so that you notice a difference. You may even need multiple treatments to get the desired effect.
5. You May Need To Avoid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Your doctor will give you complete instructions to follow after you get your injections. The instructions might include avoiding ice packs and anti-inflammatory medications right after your injections.
Anti-inflammatory drugs or home treatments to reduce inflammation can interfere with the effectiveness of the injections which are supposed to cause inflammation when the healing response is triggered.
Contact a local PRP stem cell therapy center to learn more.