BIOLOGICAL SKIN THERAPIES
Autologous Growth Factors
Topical and injectable growth factor therapies in the form of Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) represent the new frontier in skin rejuvenation.
The aim of administering growth factors is to replenish the skin’s own depleted levels and to upregulate the activity of cells responsible for collagen production, thereby slowing or even reversing the manifestations of skin aging.
What is Enhanced Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?
PRP is a treatment in which a patient’s own cell biology is used to achieve a process of biostimulation: using the patient’s own growth factors to stimulate regeneration of the skin and dermis.
Platelets are small cell fragments circulating in the blood and when activated they can release vital growth factors and proteins that are important in wound healing as well as tissue repair and regeneration. There are several parallels between pathways of wound healing and rejuvenation of the aging face: both involve release of key growth factors.
The Role of Growth Factors
Unlike hormones, the activity of growth factors in confined to the vicinity of their sites of production. The aim of PRP is to concentrate and provide these growth factors directly to the target tissue: the skin.
PRP is virtually a powerful cocktail of many proteins that stimulate repair and regeneration.
Although the use of PRP for indications such as skin rejuvenation is off FDA (USA) labelling, clinical studies have shown outcomes in correlation with histological studies:
Fibroblast stimulation and collagen production (dermal regeneration)
Increased turnover of keratinocytes (improved skin elasticity and epidermal regeneration)
Increased blood flow and nutrient delivery (angiogenesis)
Enhanced anti-oxidant activity (downregulation of free radicals responsible for aging)
Angel PRR: Bespoke Biological Therapy
Unlike traditional techniques where the concentration and activation of the growth factors is variable, the Angel Arthrex System utilizes the principle of flow cytometry (light absorption), to achieve precise separation and enhanced concentration of growth factors. This allows preparation and delivery of customised platelet-rich plasma (PRP) formulations with a 4-fold increase of growth factors.
Research indicates that the optimal therapeutic concentration for effective skin rejuvenation is a platelet concentration of 3-4 times the normal level of platelets.
The state-of-the-art Angel® system processes a larger amount of blood and yields a platelet concentration which is titrated to meet this gold standard requirement, which many other PRP systems simply cannot achieve.
As a result optimal collagen stimulation can be achieved with one single session rather three required with conventional techniques.
The growth factors are administered via multiple injections at different levels within the skin-dermis. Each person is unique and the response to intra-dermal injections will vary, though adverse reactions are rare.
As with any aesthetic intervention redness, swelling, slight pain, bruising or all these signs can occur in the treatment area. These side effects usually subside in 2-3 days.
Platelet Rich Plasma encourages neocollagenesis and skin revitalising by implementing a cocktail of powerful cell regulators. Patients experience improvement of skin texture and vitality within 3-6 weeks. Results continue to improve over time and last approximately 1 – 2 years. Best results are attained through maintenance treatments.
We are all unique and so results will depend upon a number of factors including your overall health status, age, dietary variations, whether you smoke, as well as a number of other health factors, including your unique skin type.
Balancing the efficacy and safety of this treatment is essential as different preparation protocols can affect the concentration-activation of growth factors and therefore the control mechanisms linked to their safe application. The concentration and activation status of the growth factors can vary greatly among techniques and even within a single technique. In addition, platelet concentrations can vary from day to day in PRP produced from a single individual, depending on factors such as diet, general health, medications (like coagulants), and exercise. Super-concentration or other strategies aiming to maximize cellular proliferation is not recommended.
A better understanding of the mechanisms of isolation and release of biological factors will allow standardization of protocols regarding the number of treatments and treatment intervals in facial rejuvenation.