On the horizon: Platelet Rich Plasma

On the horizon now is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) which is extracted from one’s own blood very easily and injected into any area of the body to promote younger, tighter, fresher looking skin.

Aging of the face and body are caused by several factors. Those who bake in the sun (or worse yet, tanning beds), smokers, and those with poor eating habits show the worst effects of aging, both internal and external. Although aging is a fact of life, many people continue to look for ways to combat and even reverse this natural process. Even though the age of cosmetic surgery where the face, eyelids and forehead lifts became common procedures decades ago, focusing on the aging skin and loss of vol- ume is a relatively new concept.

Skin care systems that actually worked finally arrived on the scene. These were cosmeceuticals (meaning they had ingredients that could lighten skin, remove age spots , reduce pore size, and re- duce wrinkles). However, for more extreme damage, lasers came next which actually remove and repair damaged skin. There are many and varied lasers available these days, yielding from minimal to dramatic results. Depending on the kind of laser and experience of the laser technician, literally years can be taken off of the face, neck, décol- leté, and even hands.

Botox and Dysport are used to reduce the activity of muscles of animation, such as the frown lines between the eyes, the forehead fur- rows as well as the crow’s feet at the corners of the eyes and even around the mouth. Though temporary, these paralytics can make one look more youthful and less angry or sad.

“Fillers” and fat grafts for re-volumizing came about when it be- came obvious to plastic surgeons that tightening the face and neck was not the complete answer. Fat grafts and fillers such as Juvederm, Voluma, Restylane, Perlane and Sculptra came on the market each with different properties that can be used in different areas of the face. The advantage to plastic surgeons is that with such an array available they can treat each patient as individuals and not “one size fits all”. In other words, not every patient has the same loss of volume in all areas. It requires a good eye on the part of the injector to “customize” the fillers so that the result is a younger, more refreshed look without changing the appear- ance of the patient.

On the horizon now is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) which is ex- tracted from one’s own blood very easily and injected into any area of the body to promote younger, tighter, fresher looking skin. The lat- est area being injected is the scalp for men and women with thinning hair. Results have been very en- couraging.

All in all, there is no reason not to look your best at any age no matter what your budget is and best yet, without surgery!

E. Ronald Finger, MD, FACS, is a Plastic Surgeon and Anti-aging specialist.