What is PRP and why is it being used along with microneedling?
When we are young we take many things for granted, especially the tone and elasticity of our skin that is provided by the body’s ample production of collagen. As we age, less and less of this important protein is produced, and the evidence for that can be seen in the fine lines and wrinkles that begin to appear next to our eyes and mouth.
As Dolly Parton’s character memorably proclaims in the movie Steel Magnolias, “Honey, time marches on, and, sooner or later, you realize it’s marching across your face.”
Various techniques and methods are available to attempt to remove or lessen the appearance of the lines and wrinkles marking this relentless march of time. One method that is growing in popularity is microneedling. Instead of using abrasion devices or fillers to mask these areas, microneedling stimulates the body to send new collagen supplies to take care of them in a more natural way.
Microneedling uses tiny needles to prick the skin just enough to create a wound that signals for the body to activate its healing mechanisms. Along with initiating the creation of replacement cells for those “injured” in the microneedling process, the body also sends a batch of new collagen to the site of each puncture.
What may sound like an unpleasant experience is actually only minimally invasive and nearly pain free. Some of the issues for which microneedling has been found to be effective include:
- wrinkles and fine lines smoothed
- pigmentation issues
- scarring, typically resulting from acne, injuries or surgical procedures
- alopecia (hair loss)
- stretch marks, due to pregnancy or weight loss
- pocked appearance of cellulite
- rosacea, which is a skin condition causing redness and small bumps
- decreasing the size of enlarged pores
- facilitating the absorption of medications, supplements and skincare treatments
Microneedling Combined with Platelet-Rich Plasma
Although microneedling has proven effective on its own, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is being used in conjunction with it to accelerate the healing process.
What is platelet-rich plasma? We all know that plasma is the liquid part of the blood. It contains red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, which contain the growth proteins so important for healing. Platelets are also responsible for the clotting process.
It is believed that having a higher than normal concentration of platelets in the blood at the site of a wound will aid in a more rapid recovery. To accomplish this, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient and divided in half. From one half the platelets are removed and put through a process that concentrates them in a smaller amount of liquid. This enriched concentration is then returned to the other half of the blood.
The enriched plasma is injected through the tiny needles during the microneedling process back into the same person from whom it was originally taken. This not only aids in the healing process but, since this is the individual’s own plasma, there is little chance of infection or adverse reaction.
Dr. Brian D. Cohen is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive training in cosmetic/reconstructive plastic surgery and has had years of experience performing a wide array of cosmetic surgery procedures, specializing in procedures of the face, eyes, nose, breast and body and is known for his exemplary and compassionate care by his patients. Knowing that Dr. Cohen has been selected by his peers in Super Doctors for 8 years in a row in 2020 gives you the confidence that he is highly respected for his performance in his specialty.
Information on locations and office hours for Cohen Plastic Surgery can be found by clicking here.