I’ve been hearing a lot around the office recently about PRP treatments. To be honest when I first heard someone mention it I thought it was a financial term relating to investments. Not wanting to get caught out like that again, I went home that night and did a little research on the internet. PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. Reading about it I was quite surprised by the futuristic sound of the treatment and its wide use of applications. Basically, the process uses a high concentration of your own platelets that have been extracted from your blood using a centrifuge, which is then injected into problem areas.
The blood extraction has a higher concentration of growth and healing factors than the whole blood, and this supposedly stimulates faster healing and regeneration. It is a really interesting concept that combines some almost holistic elements – using your own body to heal itself – and some very advanced technological techniques that I wouldn’t be surprised to see in a sci-fi movie.
The fact is that it is being used currently in several medical fields including dentistry, dermatology and orthopedics. A common area of use of PRP therapy is in encouraging hair growth by injecting the solution into the scalp in areas of low growth. As the procedure is non-invasive it is becoming more popular in the beauty market as a facial rejuvenation treatment. The platelets stimulate collagen and new cell growth, helping to improve your complexion, skin texture and to restore lost facial volume.
The treatment is also used to treat more serious conditions like helping to heal burns. Other more serious applications for PRP therapy include helping to repair damaged cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles and even bone. As the use of PRP therapy increases it is being used to treat a wider range of orthopedic conditions including osteoarthritis.
Although mainly used to treat knee osteoarthritis, it can be used on other joints as well. In dentistry PRP therapy is being used to promote rapid healing in patients having implants. Dental implants can be quite extensive and the moist atmosphere of the mouth can make healing a bit harder.
Also, for ageing patients the healing process can be impaired, so giving a boost can help reduce the risk of infection due to exposure. With so many uses for PRP Therapy, and it still being a relatively new technique, I’m very interested in seeing the next steps and applications that it will be used for.