If you have done prior research on platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, undergone the treatment yourself, or have even looked at some of the other articles on this site, then you likely know the basic idea behind how the process works. Blood is drawn, spun to isolate platelets, and then injected into trouble spots to stimulate the body’s healing. However, you may be curious about just what goes on under your skin after an injection or why platelets can even help your wrinkles. The answer, as you’ll find, is quite fascinating.
What is a Wrinkle?
It is a basic question with perhaps an obvious answer, but still a good starting point. Skin has several useful components. Collagen provides firmness, elastin gives elasticity, and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) help maintain hydration. All three of these substances regularly wear out from age, or damage, and are replaced. However, the ability to produce these substances slowly declines as we get older at a rate of around one percent every year after age the age of 20.
As the decline advances, the body compensates by eventually modifying the kinds of fibers it uses in repairs. These altered collagen fibers are longer than normal and make the skin looser. The loose skin results in a small fold, which we see as a wrinkle. It’s worth noting that, if a biopsy were to be taken, wrinkled skin looks identical to normal skin. The difference is only in the fold.
Why Does PRP Help?
If enough collagen could be produced beneath a wrinkle, it would fill out the space the skin is sagging into and force it to stretch, effectively removing the wrinkle. This is the basic principle behind filler treatments, albeit a heavily simplified version.
The easiest way to make the body produce more collagen is to injure the skin, which triggers collagen production to heal the wound. The problem is that the body’s response is normally proportional to the severity of the injury and won’t normally produce enough collagen to do much more than close the opening. This is where PRP therapy comes in.
Blood contains a number of growth factors (platelets) that are involved in the healing process. When blood is extracted for PRP therapy, it is spun in a centrifuge to isolate these platelets. The resulting solution is then injected back into the skin.
The human body is a fascinating series of balanced biological reactions and a true wonder of nature. It is also easy to trick if you know what you’re doing. Injecting the PRP solution causes the body to think it has suffered a larger injury than it actually has—after all, why else would there be so many growth factors around?
All of these result in the body producing more collagen than it needs to repair the injection site. The excess collagen fills out the wrinkle and restores smoothness to the skin. Additional elements of the repair process, like the growth of new skin, further the restorative effect.
PRP therapy has no side effects since it uses your body’s own collagen to fill out your wrinkles. Considering it uses natural recovery mechanisms, the therapy can take some time to work, but the results are well worth it. Anti Aging Toronto Clinic prides itself on mastering the latest technological and clinical techniques to ensure your skin can stay as young and vibrant as you feel. Contact us today for more information.