You might associate platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) with the renowned vampire facial – and you’d be right. However, there’s so much more to this ground-breaking treatment than what you’ve read. Founder of Anti-Aging Art Medical Aesthetics, Dr Reza Mia, shares more on this cutting-edge therapy.
Non-invasive, accelerated healing
PRP, or platelet rich plasma therapy, as it’s technically known, is a non-invasive treatment performed to accelerate healing, minimise the signs of ageing, accentuate parts of the body and to relieve pain. Incredibly versatile, this therapy is used among athletes to accelerate the healing of injuries. It’s used to treat arthritis and tendonitis and is also popularly used as an anti-aging facial treatment. PRP is considered a long-lasting solution to the body’s natural healing process, with results ranging from instant, to appearing after a couple of weeks, and even lasting several years.
What is plasma?
Plasma is the liquid part of the blood, consisting mainly of water and protein. It allows red and white blood cells, as well as platelets (a type of blood cell responsible for making blood clot, as well as for facilitating healing) to move through the bloodstream. Platelets are rich in connective tissue growth and healing factors. They initiate repair in the body and attract stem cells to injuries. This amazing healing ability is what makes them so effective in platelet rich plasma therapy.
How does PRP work?
To collect plasma, we draw blood from the body and then insert it into a machine called a centrifuge. This in turn spins the blood at high speeds, separating platelet-rich plasma from the rest of the blood. The red blood cells are discarded, and a concentration of platelets above normal values are left behind. The concentration can then be injected into various areas of the body to treat injuries or concerns.
PRP has become a popular therapy among athletes. It is used to treat injured tendons, ligament sprains and tears, damaged ligaments and joints. Not only does it stimulate the healing of cartilage, but it also helps reduce pain. Soft tissue injuries are most responsive to PRP treatment. Depending on the type of injury and the severity of it, some athletes who would have been side-lined for months have seen major results after around 6 weeks.
The vampire facial
You may recall the vampire facial or “facelift” gained worldwide fame when reality star Kim Kardashian famously posted about it on Instagram a few years ago. Today, it is a common anti-aging treatment. PRP is injected into the face to reduce wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin. The treatment provides a gradual increase in volume by helping to stimulate the body’s natural collagen production. Other benefits of the treatment include skin tightening, lifting and smoothing, and a more even skin tone.
Believe it or not, you can enhance your breast with PRP. Also known as a “vampire breast lift,” PRP for breast enhancement is a non-surgical form of breast augmentation. Unlike a traditional breast lift or augmentation which requires incisions, this treatment is performed by utilising PRP injections to create a fuller and firmer bust. A vampire breast lift won’t increase your cup size or change the shape of your breast. However, it will create a fuller and firmer appearance and minimise the appearance of wrinkles and stretch marks. The results have been likened to those achieved by wearing a great quality push-up bra.
More recently PRP therapy is being used to improve sexual function in both men and women. Platelet rich plasma sexual rejuvenation, involves injecting your own activated blood into the vagina or penis. The v-shot can enhance clitoral orgasms; increase arousal and lubrication and vaginal tightness. The benefits of the p-shot are “longer, firmer and more sustainable erections” and “proven penis enlargement.” The question on everyone’s lips is, of course, whether or not the latter procedure is painful. No. It is completely painless!
Hair loss treatment
Did you know that PRP therapy is also successful when used to enhance hair growth? The treatment has shown to effectively treat androgenic alopecia (also known as male pattern baldness). PRP injections trigger and maintain natural hair growth by stimulating blood flow to the hair follicles. This treatment may be combined with other hair loss procedures or medications.
The PRP process
Undergoing PRP therapy is simple and painless. The entire procedure, from drawing the blood to solution preparation, takes around half an hour and is performed in your aesthetic practitioner’s office. The time spent on the treatment performed with the PRP afterwards, is dependent on the individual treatment. Generally speaking, PRP injections are not painful. We make use of various pain management techniques to ensure the comfort of our patients during their procedures. Depending on your treatment, you may experience some swelling and bruising for a few days, but this clears up quickly.
The bottom line
While the vampire facial put PRP on the general public’s map, there’s so much more that can be achieved by making use of this incredible treatment. Whether you’re looking to treat an injury, minimise your wrinkles, rejuvenate your sex life or increase your hair growth, plasma rich platelet therapy is a safe and effective treatment option to consider.
About the author
Dr Reza Mia is a specialist medical aesthetic doctor, offering aesthetic treatments. He is based in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa and offers a wide variety of non-invasive, effective treatments for the skin, hair and body, including PRP therapy.