Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment

Utilising your own cells to achieve skin rejuvenation and hair regeneration.

PRP is an autologous blood product containing concentrated cells found in your blood. These concentrated cells of platelets, leukocytes, and plasma stimulate growth factor proteins and collagen proteins.

When the platelets are injected, growth factors and collagen synthesis are stimulated. Collagen is a protein that structurally supports our skin and is the predominant protein in our dermis. Skin collagen levels decrease with aging, and so counteracting this process can help counteract the signs of aging1. Additionally, growth factors can be injected into the scalp to stimulate hair follicles and assist with hair regrowth.

PRP can improve photo-aged skin texture and tone, acne scars, fine lines, crepe skin, under eyes and volume loss. It may also assist with hair regeneration, improving alopecia and thinning hair, enhancing scalp health, and stimulating regrowth of thinning hair to improve hair thickness.

PRP has been utilised in various medical specialities, including cardiac, paediatric, gynaecology, urology, orthopaedic surgery, and wound care, for over 30 years. Eventually, it was used in cosmetic procedures and hair regeneration in 2010. PRP is anti-microbial and a bio-stimulant. Therefore, the risks of the treatment are low.

Not all PRP are the same

Effective PRP requires a concentration of 5 to 9 times the baseline level of platelets found in the blood. At Southern Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, we aim to provide the highest quality care to our patients. We dedicated time to researching the foremost PRP system available. The EmCyte System generates the highest concentration of platelets of all PRP systems available in Australia. The effectiveness of PRP is directly proportional to the number of platelets concentrated in the system2.

EmCytes PRP systems are TGA and FDA-approved, and a closed-loop system ensures sterility. The double centrifugation process delivers a consistent therapeutic outcome of 1.4 million platelets per microlitre and 10 billion platelets in one session. The EmCyte system removes more red blood cells from the plasma than any other system. Red blood cells are known to increase pain and inflammation at the injection site.

The process

Although PRP is relatively safe, there are some contraindications. Therefore, a consultation with a health practitioner before treatment is imperative to ensure patient safety. Please allow for one hour and thirty minutes at your initial appointment. Follow-up appointments will take approximately one hour.

The health practitioner collects a portion of whole blood from a peripheral vein. The blood is spun in a centrifuge for approximately 7 minutes. The centrifugation process separates the red blood cells from white cells and platelets. Platelet-rich plasma is then re-injected into the priority area.

How to prepare for your treatment

Hydration is essential; drink one litre of water the day before your appointment and 1 litre the day of your appointment to ensure accessible blood collection.

Am I suitable for this treatment?

At every age of our lives, skin health is essential. PRP is an ideal treatment for patients seeking a natural approach to their skin health. PRP is a preventative treatment for patients noticing the signs of ageing. Additionally, menopause has a profound impact on skin health. Studies indicate a rapid decline of 30% of collagen within the first five years, followed by a 2% collagen loss post menopausally. PRP is an excellent treatment for women looking for panfacial rejuvenation.

Three treatments are recommended over 12 weeks, followed by maintenance every six months. Treatment one focuses on phagocytotic action; the treatment reduces aged skin. The skin will be more hydrated. Treatments two and three activate regenerative cells, stimulating release of growth factor proteins to stimulate collagen and elastin.

Hair regeneration

Injecting a concentration of the patient’s platelets into the scalp can help stimulate hair growth and repair damaged follicles. The activated platelets in PRP release numerous growth factors and cytokines eg epidermal growth factor, transforming growth factor, that stimulate hair growth through cell proliferation, differentiation and angiogenesis. Studies have shown that the anagen (growth) phase of hair growth is supported and prolonged. If you are experiencing hair thinning or loss, we recommend early intervention. Studies suggest PRP can benefit patients suffering from female alopecia, alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia. PRP will benefit hair transplant patients; studies suggest it improves the density and quality of growth and reduces the loss of transplanted follicles3. Results can be seen after six weeks; these improve over six months.

What will I look like afterwards?

The skin and scalp may have mild swelling and redness for 24-48 hours. You may have bruises. However, this is temporary. Most people can return to work the following day, and we usually recommend having your appointment at the end of your working day or when you do not have an important event that evening. You can wash your hair with shampoo and style it the following day, but your scalp will be more sensitive than normal.

What are the adverse effects of PRP injections?

PRP injections are a relatively safe procedure with most patients experiencing only minor responses such as tolerable pain during treatment, mild headache, minimal itching, mild redness and swelling of the treated area. Major side effects such as scarring, infections, haematoma and allergic reactions are rare.

Are there any contraindications to PRP?

PRP uses a sample of your own blood and concentrates your own platelets for the re-injection into your skin. Patients who have low platelet levels, dysfunctional platelets or a bone or blood malignancy should consider an alternative to PRP. Local or systemic infections at the time of injection are also contraindications. You should have the treatment when you are feeling well. Patients on blood thinners or those who have taken an anti-inflammatory will notice more bruising and pain after the procedure. Patients who smoke, vape or use shisha will not gain the same benefits as non-nicotine users.

Is PRP experimental or new?

PRP was first used in the 1970s as a transfusion product of high dose platelets in people suffering from thrombocytopaenia (low platelets). PRP has been used for cosmetic purposes and hair restoration for over a decade.

Is Emcyte approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration?

The haematological concentrate system kit used for platelet concentration (PRP) is approved by the TGA4. It also has Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval5.

For any further questions please book in a consultation with nurse Lana.

1 Devereaux J, Nurgali K, Kiatos D et al. Effects of platelet-rich plasma and platelet-poor plasma on human dermal fibroblasts. Maturitas, 117, 34–44.

2 Sasaki GH. The effects of lower vs higher cell number of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) on hair density and diameter in Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA): a randomized, double-blinded, placebo, parallel-group half-scalp IRB-approved study. Aesthet Surg J. 2021;41(11):NP1659–NP1672.

3 Paichitrojjana A, Paichitrojjana An. Platelet rich plasma and is use in hair regrowth: A review. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2022; 16:635-645.

4 https://www.tga.gov.au/resources/artg/385251

5 https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/substantially-equivalent-510k-device-information/bk190317-pureprp-supraphysiologic-concentrating-system