PRP Treatments & Injections at Melbourne Skin & Dermatology

 

Melbourne Skin & Dermatology is pleased to be able to offer PRP treatments for the adjunctive management of a variety of hair, skin and cosmetic concerns.

The information presented on this page is for general information only and does not contain advice specific to the reader.  For specific advice, please discuss this with your practitioner.

 

What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?

 

What does PRP stand for?

PRP stands for platelet rich plasma, a component in blood that is rich in a type of cell called platelets. Use of PRP in treatments and injections has been performed for several decades in medicine and may become an emerging option for managing several dermatological ailments and complaints.

 

In current times, PRP is not often used as first-line treatment or as the sole treatment option to address a particular concern.  Rather, as we wait for more robust research to be conducted, PRP is often used in an attempt to boost the effect or aid in the healing of certain skin and hair treatments.  PRP injections and treatments are not for everyone and cost-benefit considerations need to be considered by each individual.

 

Who performs PRP treatments and injections?

PRP treatments are performed by some dermatologists, cosmetic physicians and nurses for hair and skin concerns.  Its use by sports physicians and orthopaedic surgeons for muscle and joint problems is used widely. PRP treatments are not currently used as widely by dermatologists as the volume of clinical studies increases (see list at the end of this article for relevant references).  Carrying out PRP treatments effectively requires special equipment, support staff, training and careful selection of situations where treatment may be appropriate. 

 

 

 

Does PRP work for skin problems and as a hair loss treatment?

There are favourable results published in peer-reviewed journals to support the use of PRP in various dermatological problems. Encouraging results are also seen in daily practice, making the treatment a viable option in certain conditions and situations. Nevertheless, scientific studies are lagging behind the large patient demand for PRP injections and treatments for both men and women.  

 

The ‘natural’ aspect of the treatment, meaning the utilisation of the body’s own cells, is appealing to patients. Melbourne Skin & Dermatology offers PRP injections for patients who would like to use all available methods available to address their skin or hair concern.

 

Why have your PRP performed at Melbourne Skin & Dermatology?

 

At Melbourne Skin & Dermatology, we use a system that extracts the highest concentration of platelet rich plasma available in Australia. When compared to all PRP systems available in Australia, we chose the system that is safer (a closed system to minimse risk of contamination), that produces the highest concentration of platelets and allows processing of larger volumes of blood. This means that not only is the concentration of PRP the highest possible, but also allows for a larger volume to be used. 

 

Our high standards in the provision of dermatological care under the guidance of dermatologists sets us in a unique position to deliver PRP treatments and optimise results.

 

Where does PRP come from?

When a tube of blood is spun down in a centrifuge, three layers are formed based on the weight of each component. The heaviest part, which is full of red blood cells sits right at the bottom and the lightest part, which contains plasma without platelets, sits right at the top of the tube. The middle part is the PRP (platelet rich plasma) – ie it contains an abundance of a cell type called platelets. Various techniques are used to extract the platelet rich portion of blood.

 

So what’s so special about platelets?

Platelets are cells in the blood which have the primary purpose of clotting blood when there is bleeding. Platelets also contain essential biomolecules, enzymes and active growth factors necessary for wound healing and regeneration of tissues. 

 

In PRP treatments, platelets are highly concentrated to allow large amounts of growth factors and various other proteins which are able to stimulate the healing process. The principle of PRP treatment is that it delivers all the necessary compounds in high concentrations and volumes directly to the site of concern.

 

What can PRP injections be used for?

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is used for a variety of medical conditions, and not just in dermatology. In fact, the primary use of these injections is in sports medicine and orthopaedics, where PRP is injected into joints and soft tissues to aid in healing and rejuvenation of tissues. In dermatology, the primary use is for hair loss treatment and cosmetic dermatology.

 

Research into PRP treatment for hair loss disorders such as androgenic alopecia (male pattern balding and female pattern hair loss) and alopecia areata are gaining traction. The science for use of PRP in cosmetic treatments in dermatology is also catching up with more studies being published on the beneficial effects of PRP for general facial rejuvenation, eye rejuvenation (including periorbital dark circles) and for facial fine lines and wrinkles. Use of platelet rich plasma in acne scarring is also gaining traction with evidence backing its use with microneedling.

 

Here’s a list of what PRP injections are currently used for;

  • Male and female pattern hair loss (ie hair thinning)
  • Alopecia areata
  • Scars – including acne scars
  • Wound healing
  • Stretch marks (Striae)
  • Anti ageing cosmetic treatment of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Periorbital dark circles (dark under eyes)

 

Studies in the medical literature also exist for the use of PRP for melasma, vitiligo, leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, skin grafts as well as first and second degree skin burns.

 

PRP Hair Treatment

Platelet rich plasma is one of many different available hair loss treatments at Melbourne Skin & Dermatology. PRP treatment for hair loss has the greatest amount of scientific evidence supporting its use to stimulate hair growth. Its use in hair loss treatment can be applied as injections such that the solution can reach deep into hair follicles, or applied on top of the scalp during or after microneedling which creates open channels. Hair loss can be retarded with more stimulation of hair follicles with growth factors to lead to hair regrowth.

 

PRP injections and treatments for hair loss

At Melbourne Skin & Dermatology, our preference is to perform PRP hair loss injections directly to where the solution needs to be – around the hair follicle. This is well tolerated and not as uncomfortable as one may think.

 

What is involved in a PRP hair loss treatment?

A PRP hair loss treatment involves at least 3 sessions, one month apart, followed by another session at the 3rd or 6th month. Increased hair growth and regrowth is often seen 3 to 6 months after a treatment cycle. Skin treatments can also be conducted at the same time with any remaining spare PRP.

 

PRP in wound healing

Platelets undergo a process called degranulation to release their growth factors in the process of wound healing. This starts and improves the normal body processes involved in tissue healing after an injury.

There are a large number of growth factors that are found in platelets which aid in the process of healing. Such molecules include; vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-b1, TFG-b2), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), fibrin, fibronectin, vitronectin, thrombin, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB, PDGF-AB), epidermal growth factor (EGF), pro- and anti- inflammatory cytokines (interleukin [IL]-4), IL-8, IL-13, IL-17, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, and interferon-alpha).

These growth factors are involved in healing in a number of ways including attracting specific stem cells into the local area of tissue injury, suppressing production of chemicals involved in inflammation and increasing healthy blood vessel growth.

 

PRP Facials

Skin treatments with PRP are gaining in popularity, especially when combined with other forms of cosmetic treatments. The feature of PRP which enhances extracellular matrix remodeling (the cement substance under your skin) makes the treatment one that is favourable for rejuvenation. One may have heard about Vampire facials which refers to PRP used after microneedling. This treatment was made popular by celebrities and continues to be requested by skin care enthusiasts.

 

Signature PRP Facial

At Melbourne Skin & Dermatology, we offer our unique “Signature PRP Facial”. We use a microneedling device (for skin needling) to create small channels in the skin which allow the applied PRP to penetrate deeply in the skin. At times, we may use a radiofrequency microneedling device or CO2 laser to create the small channels, depending on what we are trying to achieve and any budgetary allowances. Healite LED therapy may be used afterwards to aid in skin recovery.

 

What results to expect

Patients experience an improved skin tone, texture and subtle firmness that is seen 6 months and beyond a treatment session. Further clinical and scientific studies have been called upon to further understand how this treatment can be optimised for use in facial skin rejuvenation.

 

PRP treatment for acne scars

Acne scarring remains a challenging problem to treat. PRP has been shown in several scientific studies to improve results when used with CO2 laser resurfacing and microneedling. Not only are the outcomes improved, but recovery times also seem to improve with quicker healing after such invasive procedures. Redness, swelling, scabbing and pigmentation have all been shown to be reduced when PRP is used for acne scarring. This also allows dermatologists to use more aggressive treatments, knowing that the recovery process and time to heal is reduced when PRP treatment is used.

 

PRP Eye Rejuvenation

PRP is also used by some practitioners under the eyes to minimise periorbital dark circles (dark under eyes).   Better scientific studies in this area are needed. One particular article by Hausauer and Humphrey in 2019 published in a well-known dermatology journal called ‘Dermatologic Surgery’ discusses the use of PRP injected with a cannula underneath the eyelid area. This in theory thickens the top layers of the skin such that it improves the colour, skin tone and texture of the under eye area. Platelet rich plasma may be an emerging cosmetic treatment for lower eyelid rejuvenation. Further studies have been called for to further investigate PRP injection treatments as an option in both men and women for eye rejuvenation and treatment of dark under eyes.

 

Combination laser and needling PRP eye treatments

Demand for platelet rich plasma laser eye treatment is increasing. In this procedure CO2 laser or skin needling is first used before topical application of PRP. Such treatments should be avoided in those with darker skin tones as they increase the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

 

PRP for stretch marks (striae)

There is more and more evidence which also supports the use of platelet rich plasma injections for the treatment of striae distensae (stretch marks). There are a few small scientific studies that have looked at the utlility of PRP treatments which demonstrate that PRP use was superior to other options including tretinoin cream and microdermabrasion. Platelet rich plasma for stretch marks can be combined with other treatments for enhanced effect. CO2 laser, radiofrequency microneedling and ‘dry’ microneedling are often used in conjunction with PRP. It is thought that the ability of PRP to increase collagen and elastin is responsible for the desired effects of PRP in stretch mark treatment.

 

Is PRP safe?

Platelet rich plasma injections are often sought because of their acceptable safety profile. As a preparation that uses the patients’ own blood (referred to as autologous), it is seen as safe and is free from transmissible diseases. There are negligible risks of allergy for the same reason and platelet rich plasma is immunologically neutral. Platelet rich plasma treatment should be avoided in patients who have a low platelet count, have infections or are on blood thinning medications.

 

What do treatments involve?

 

Treatments require blood to be drawn from the patient which is then spun down. This process takes approximately 15 mins. Platelet rich plasma hair loss treatments are then performed by either injection directly into the scalp, or used in the process of microneedling. When PRP is used to aid in acne scarring or rejuvenation treatments (such as the PRP facial), the product is applied topically after laser, radiofrequency microneedling or standard microneedling. Treatments are usually performed monthly for 3 months to achieve maximal results.

 

 

What to do before your PRP injections?

 

No specific preparation is required for treatments. Taking time off work for recovery of facial treatments needs to be considered and should be discussed with your practitioner.  

 

Patients are encouraged to be well hydrated to aid in blood collection. For patients having treatment to aid in hair regrowth, it is suggested to have a short haircut a few days prior to the PRP treatment. 

 

 

What to do after your PRP injections?

 

No specific after-care is required for patients having treatments for hair regrowth. It is uncommon for patients to experience lingering discomfort after injections. Specific post-procedure advice should be followed for those having treatments combined with CO2 laser, RF microneedling and other combination treatments.  This will be provided to patients at the time of the initial consultation.

 

How much does PRP cost?

 

PRP injection costs in Australia vary significantly. The variation is due to different systems being used, differing levels of experience and qualifications of the performing practitioner, different clinical settings as well as different methods being employed (e.g. injections with needles, injections with cannula or used topically after microneedling).

PRP for hair loss price will vary between $250 per treatment to $800 per treatment depending on the above mentioned factors. It is important to ask the right questions such as; what system is being used, is it an open or closed system, what is the platelet yield (ie the concentration), what is the volume that will be injected or used, who will be performing the treatment and in what environment will the treatment occur in (ie a dedicated specialist medical dermatology clinic vs a non-medical clinic).

 

We have carefully considered our pricing schedules for PRP to ensure that we can provide an exceptional service and allocate appropriate staffing and equipment as well as provide a treatment that gives our patients the highest chances of achieving results.

To find out more including accurate costing for your individual needs, please contact us to make an enquiry.

 

References:

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