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Modern cosmetic skin rejuvenation, whether surgical or noninvasive, may stand to benefit from the ability of the body to heal itself. Taking cues from other medical fields, procedures such as biofacial skin rejuvenation utilize the properties of platelet-rich plasma to facilitate recovery after procedures and reinvigorate aged skin. This procedure has the potential to work well alongside other cosmetic procedures geared toward rejuvenating human skin.

Platelet-rich plasma

Platelet-rich plasma has become a hot topic in medical literature. Today, procedures involving the use of plasma extracted from patients are common in fields as broad as pain management, rehabilitative medicine, and cosmetic surgery.

Plasma is the primary fluid component of human blood, where all three cell types in the bloodstream are suspended. One of these cell types, platelets (or thrombocytes) are responsible for blood clotting and play a vital role in activating the healing functions of the body in the wake of an injury. The fluid is composed of human plasma with a higher-than-average concentration of platelets (up to 300% to 700% more), created by subjecting a sample of the patient’s blood through a centrifuge.

Interventions that use platelet-rich plasma in medical settings are typically minimally invasive. The plasma itself is injected, often with the help of ultrasound imagery, as close to the desired region as possible.

In skin rejuvenation

Today, platelet-rich plasma is commonly offered as an adjuvant alongside many skin rejuvenation procedures such as laser treatments, to take advantage of its effects in the healing and growth process in human tissues.

A few studies have examined the outcomes of patients who received platelet-rich plasma during skin rejuvenation therapy. These have found that there was a statistically significant difference in outcomes among patients—in terms of general appearance, skin firmness, and texture—who received platelet-rich plasma during facial rejuvenation procedures and those that do not, with a more noticeable improvement in those who received more injections.

Advantages

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The appeal of platelet-rich plasma comes from its ability to use the body’s own healing functions to its advantage. Studies from across the broader medical literature have observed that injections of platelet-rich plasma promote cellular growth and tissue remodeling in several regions of the body, which has coincided with a reduction in pain. This has made it an attractive option in rehabilitative medicine as it helps reduce a patient’s dependence on painkilling medications.

In addition, the substance itself is largely safe. Having been derived from the patients themselves, platelet-rich plasma is biologically compatible with the human body and will not be rejected by the immune system. Tests thus far have revealed few to no adverse reactions to interventions based on platelet-rich plasma.

In the studies examining its effects on cosmetic procedures, platelet-rich plasma has been found to not only increase the volume of cell growth within aged skin but also the expression type-1 collagen, which contributes to the firmness and tautness of human skin. An increase in collagen can contribute to the gradual slowing of the visible aging process within the skin.

These results have made platelet-rich plasma injections an exciting field for cosmetic medicine, providing a natural and safe way to restore the vigor of facial skin. Further areas of development in this field may include increasing the effectiveness of delivery within the desired regions to maximize its obvious benefits.