Platelet Rich Plasma in Dermatology


Understanding PRP

Platelet-Rich Plasma, or PRP, is a treatment that utilizes the unique features of our own blood for therapeutic and cosmetic benefit.  PRP has been present in the medical field for over 30 years, but more recently it’s been used within the field of dermatology.

In order to obtain PRP, the following steps will take place:

  1. Patients’ blood is drawn into a specially designed tube.
  2. Tube is then spun in a machine, called a centrifuge, to separate the plasma with concentrated platelets from the whole blood.
  3. From the centrifuge process, the plasma layer is then collected to be used in the desired PRP treatment.

PRP Overview

PRP has shown significant improvement in acne scars, genetic hair loss, and facial rejuvenation. The secret to the wide array of applications and effectiveness lies within the platelets.  Platelets contain a storage unit known as alpha granules, which house numerous growth factors.  It is these growth factors that go to work by increasing blood flow, stimulating cellular growth, collagen synthesis and tissue remodeling.

Pattern Hair Loss

PRP for male-pattern or female-pattern hair loss is performed by injecting the plasma directly into the desired area.  For best results, it is recommended to complete one treatment every four weeks over a three-month timeframe, with another booster treatment three months post-PRP treatment completion.  Further treatments for maintenance can be determined based on the provider’s assessment and your individual response. 

Facial Rejuvenation

For facial rejuvenation and improving acne scars, PRP is combined with a microneedling procedure.  Microneedling creates microscopic channels in the skin that allows the platelets to get to the desired location for the growth factors to get to work.  Significant improvements in skin tone and texture are often seen within two to four treatment sessions.  PRP is safe and effective in all skin types, even those prone to hyperpigmentation.

PRP Discoveries

New applications for PRP continue to be explored.  More recently, Dermatologists have begun to explore its possibilities in improving wound healing – diabetic, pressure and venous ulcers. Dermatology experts have also begun investigating the effects of PRP in patients with vitiligo and alopecia areata. Therefore, stay tuned as there are many newly available ways PRP can benefit your skin and many new discoveries on the horizon!

By Dr. Caitlyn Foote