Platelet rich plasma, also commonly known as (PRP) has been utilized in clinical settings for management of difficult or what has proven to be a challenging recovery process, in addition to promoting healing since the 1970s.
PRP is an autologous (patient’s own body) extract of cells that contain a number of growth factors and proteins which collectively optimize and fasten the healing and the repair processes. PRP will also facilitate the process of recruiting, multiplications and finally stem cell final differentiation into target cell blocks.
What is PRP?
Platelets are small cellular components of blood that play a major role in stopping the bleeding and in tissue repair following any injury. Platelets contain a group of signalling substances (cytokines) and proteins that play important roles in wound healing; those platelets are suspended in a portion of blood that is referred to as plasma which contains clotting factors and other proteins which all contribute to the wound closure, scar forming and finally complete healing. PRP extract will contain a high concentration of platelets that might reach as much as 1,000,000 platelets/mL in addition to 3-5 folds of growth factors.
Among the growth factors available are platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor b(TGF-b) Insulin like growth factors 1& 2, Fibroblast growth factor (FGF), vascular endothelial growth factor and epidermal growth factor.
The healing properties of PRP are attributed to the various range of growth factors in addition to chemical signalling protein molecules (cytokines) mentioned above in addition to other factors that are presented in concentrated proportions compared to any other sources. Although they are found in a similar ratio to what we expect to have in our body, however PRP extraction will provide a higher concentration of these substances.
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PRP Mechanism Of Action
Healing is achieved through three stages, these are inflammation, proliferation and remodelling, those stages are influenced directly by different set of protein chemical signalling substance (cytokines) either directly or indirectly by influencing target cells to release other “chemotaxis” substances that attract different building blocks in addition to inducing cells division to promote healing and tissue regeneration.
Medical uses of PRPs
- Tendon and musculoskeletal injuries: Studies have shown that injection of PRP into tendons that suffered injuries like tears or ruptures have fastened the recovery process and improved the new healing tendon resilience by increasing production of collagen fibers in these sites. Similar effect was noted when PRP was used in treatment of torn muscles. In addition it increased treated muscle reflex speed and the regenerated muscles fibers were of bigger size.
- Joints: PRP has been used to treat patients with osteoarthritis of knees, hips and ankles. Studies have shown that PRP is superior to hyaluronic acid and is comparable to conventional treatment methods, however some preferred it as it comes from autologous (own body’s) source. PRP has also been used to fasten the healing process of damaged joint cartilages including knee menisci.
- Aesthetic and facial rejuvenation: PRP has been used for plenty of aesthetic treatments and rejuvenation purposes. Injection of platelet rich plasma will induce deposition of more collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, those are usually depleted with age and they are damaged due to exposure to ultraviolet waves and radiation. Therefore by using PRP it will help to restore damage, rejuvenate and tighten the skin.
- Hair loss Treatment: There has been a number of studies that observe the effect of PRP on hair regrowth, almost all of them have agreed that patients who were treated with PRP injections have shown significant increase in hair count and hair density compared to control groups. The patents treated have demonstrated an increase in the thickness of the epidermal cells layer, in addition to increased coloring pigmentation (keratinocytes) not to mention increase in the vascularisation of the hair follicles. As a result those patients enjoyed thicker and darker hair compared to their peers who received a placebo treatment after 3 months period. This was attributed to the fact that activated platelet rich plasma will increase the proliferation of the dermal cells, in addition there was a significant increase in the stimulus of extracellular kinase and fibroblast growth factor 7 (FGF-7) and beta catenin that are known to stimulate hair growth.
- Fasten healing: PRP has been suggesting post procedures as it’s believed to improve the healing process such as implants, grafting and in patients with peripheral vascular diseases due to underlying comorbid.
- Sexual health: PRP has been used for penile rejuvenation in men “P-shot” and for women as O-shot which helps to turn back time for some ladies and improve their sexual experience.
End note: PRP is an autologous substance meaning that there is no risk of rejection by your body as it came from your own body, therefore it’s relatively safer than using other medical therapies, despite that there are a set of possible complications related to injection of the substance including bruising, bleeding, infection and pain. Otherwise if you’re interested or considering PRP in any of the mentioned topics then you may get advice from your family doctor or you may contact us and we will counsel you in this regard.
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