What is PRP and how does it work? PRP has become a highly sought-after non-surgical procedure for facial and skin rejuvenation. PRP therapy is a treatment which uses your own blood platelets to stimulate new cell growth, helping to improve your complexion, skin texture and to restore lost facial volume. Your blood is essentially made up of four components; red blood cells, white blood cells, the plasma and the platelets. We take your blood and spin it in a centrifuge, which enables the separation of the blood cells from your plasma and platelets. This is then re-injected into the skin to stimulate collagen and new skin cells. PRP harnesses the beneficial functions of the patients own platelets and therefore there is no risk of allergy or rejection of the treatment. PRP can also be successfully used to treat thinning hair and hairloss particularly male pattern baldness. It is important to start treatment early on and whether you are a suitable candidate will be determined during your consultation.
What is the procedure? Depending on how many areas you want to get treated, a volume of blood will be taken. This is usually between 10 to 30 ml. Your blood is then placed in a centifuge for around 8-10 minutes. Once your cells have separated, the rich platelets are extracted and injected into the skin where rejuvenation is requested.
What should you expect post treatment? Most people will experience some mild to moderate swelling in the area of treatment, redness or heat, which are all common side effects and are part of the activation of your platelets. Because a volume of fluid has to be administered, swelling is inevitable. Bruising can occur and may take several days to disappear.
How soon will I see results? Most patients will require three treatments at four to six week intervals. The first thing people notice is an improvement in skin turgor and elasticity. Collagen production can take up to three months to occur and the results can differ depending on the individual. Because the injected product is 100% your own, factors such as smoking, stress and illness can effect results. A series of three treatments can yield results for up to two years.
Are there any reasons why I can’t have PRP therapy? Like the majority of cosmetic procedures, ladies who are pregnant, breast-feeding or trying to conceive are not suitable candidates. This treatment is not recommended in people on anti-coagulation treatment, autoimmune conditions, have suffered any type of cancer or who have certain implants in the treatment area. Your past and present medical history, as well as your past cosmetic history will be assessed to determine your suitability.
HYALURONIC ACID FILLERS
Hyaluronic acid fillers are a popular choice for reducing the facial lines and wrinkles that result from aging. Such fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, a substance found naturally in the body’s connective tissues and skin. Once injected, they plump up facial skin that may have lost volume or elasticity as part of the aging process, filling in wrinkles from the inside and making the skin appear younger and rejuvenated.
These injections are commonly used as a treatment for the facial folds and wrinkles that occur as a result of aging. Popular treatment areas include:
- Forehead lines
- ‘Worry lines’ between the eyebrows
- Smile lines, or the ‘nasolabial fold,’ running from the corners of the mouth to the nose.
- ‘Crow’s feet’ around the eyes
- Plumping up the lips or cheeks
- Marionette lines (running vertically down the chin from the edges of the mouth)
Most patients are 30 to 65 years old and are looking to reverse the signs of aging, although people both older and younger may receive hyaluronic acid injections. Many patients opt for HA fillers as an alternative to other injectable fillers, such as collagen, because there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
Injections of HA-based fillers are performed while patients sit in a chair in the doctor’s office. The treatment takes an hour or less; many people call the use of injectable fillers a ‘lunchtime facelift’ because of the short time needed for treatment.
Some formulations contain lidocaine, a local anesthetic. In other cases, the doctor will administer a topical or local anesthetic in order to make treatment as comfortable as possible. Then, the chosen filler is injected through a thin needle into the targeted area of skin. The exact volume of HA filler injected depends on the depth of the wrinkle, amount of change desired, skin type, and other factors. After injection, the skin may be massaged in order to smooth the injected material and ensure the most aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking results. Following treatment, patients are free to leave the doctor’s office immediately.
Safety information. Patients may experience minor bruising, swelling, redness, or tenderness at the point of injection. Because hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body there is no risk of an allergic reaction, unlike with some other cosmetic fillers.
How does BOTOX work? BOTOX blocks the signal from the nerve to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract (tighten) as forcefully, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften.
BOTOX can be used on the forehead lines, frown lines, crow’s feet, bunny lines (lines in the nose), chin (for dimpling), skin bands on the neck, and around the mouth (for smoker’s lines and down-turned corners of the mouth). Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity often will not respond to BOTOX. It is important to re-emphasize that BOTOX is NOT a facial filler (that is, it does not fill existing wrinkles) - it merely relaxes the muscles that are creating those wrinkles.
How is the BOTOX injection procedure performed? BOTOX is injected with a fine needle into specific muscles, with only minor discomfort. The procedure takes only a few minutes and no anesthesia is required. It generally takes three to seven days, but sometimes even as long as two weeks, to take full effect. It is best to avoid alcohol at least one week before treatment. Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped two weeks before treatment (if given permission by a physician) in order to reduce the risk of bruising.
How long does a BOTOX injection last? The effects of BOTOX will last four to six months. As muscle action gradually returns, the lines and wrinkles begin to reappear and will need to be re-treated to maintain the effect. After repeated injections, the lines and wrinkles will often appear less severe because the muscles are being trained to relax.
What are the side effects of BOTOX injections? The most common side effects of BOTOX injections are temporary bruising and slight pain with injection. Headaches, which go away in 24 to 48 hours, can occur, but this is rare.
A very small percentage of patients may develop eyebrow or eyelid drooping, drooping of the corner of the mouth, or inability to use a straw, depending on where the BOTOX is injected. For this reason, one should not rub the treated area for 12 hours after injection, or lie down for three to four hours after injection. No serious side effects have been noted when using BOTOX at the dermatologic (prescribed) doses.
Who should NOT receive BOTOX injections? Patients who should not use BOTOX are those who:
- are pregnant;
- are breastfeeding;
- have a neurological disease; or,
- are allergic to albumin or a constituent (part) of the preservative.
As BOTOX does not work for all wrinkles, a consultation with a doctor is recommended.