Dubbed ‘Vampire’ or ‘Dracula’ therapy, Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy is quite the innovation when it comes to anti-ageing treatments. The technique has a long history within orthopaedic medicine, reconstructive surgery and even dentistry, however, in recent years the treatment has become more widely popularised (thanks in part to Kim Kardashian) within the cosmetic industry.
Dr Daniel Sister was the first to introduce platelet-rich plasma treatment to the UK cosmetic market and has now perfected his own unique system, called Dracula Therapy™. PRP therapies effectively mobilise your own stem cells and encourage greater production of collagen and elastin fibres. Therefore improving your overall skin tone, increasing volume and reducing those tell-tale lines and wrinkles.
The treatment involves taking a small sample of your blood which is then spun in a centrifuge. This process separates the different components of the blood; red and white blood cells are divided from the platelets and plasma. (Platelets are cells in the blood that help tissue to heal and generate new cells.)
Once your sample is separated, the platelet-rich plasma is then delivered back to the area to be treated via a series of small injections. The injections activate the body’s healing response which is then enhanced by the platelet-rich plasma. The platelets release enzymes, which activate the synthesis of cell-renewal ingredients, such as collagen, adhesive molecules and cytokines*.
As the ageing process affects the skin, these mechanisms become less effective and so our production of growth factors, collagen and cell renewal decreases. The beauty of PRP is that we can isolate the platelets and re-target them into the skin to boost the body’s natural actions, revealing a fresh and more youthful complexion.
Some PRP therapies, such as Dr Sister’s Dracula Therapy™, will involve adding vitamins, amino acids and anti-oxidants to ‘super-charge’ the serum before injecting it back into the patient. A typical treatment plan would involve three treatments spread one month apart, followed by an annual top-up for optimal and longer-lasting results.
The treatment has serious advantages, as generally it is comprised of material from your own body, there is much less chance of an adverse reaction than using a synthetic product. It essentially encourages the skin to renew itself and therefore there is very little likelihood of looking fixed or un-natural.
PRP has proved particularly effective for treating difficult areas, such as dark circles or hollows around the eyes. It can be especially effective in combination with other treatments such as dermal rollers or dermal fillers. The official Vampire Facelift® uses as combination of dermal fillers and PRP to restore shape and volume at the same time as regenerating skin tissue.
Moreover, PRP has proved to be particularly successful as a hair loss treatment. It can be used as an individual treatment to fortify hair follicles and can invigorate dormant hair follicles, thus stimulating the growth of new hair.
It can be combined with any hair transplant procedure, helping the implanted hair to prosper and it will support the body’s healing response by reducing erythema (redness) and inflammation.
The results usually develop over a period of time and start to become more visible after three to four weeks. Typically the results can last up to two years, however, an annual top-up will help to maintain the results over a longer period of time.
As with all cosmetic treatments, there are a few associated side effects. Immediately after your procedure, you can expect that there may be some bruising, swelling and redness at the site of injection. There may also be some tenderness. Usually, these side effects should dissipate within a few days following the procedure.
Generally speaking most patients will be able to go straight back to their normal regime following treatment.
If you are considering any form of cosmetic treatment, it is important that you undertake a full and comprehensive consultation with a medical practitioner to ensure you are fully informed.
*Cytokines are small, secreted proteins released by cells that have a specific effect on the interactions and communications between cells.