Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is a regenerative therapy which is currently widely used throughout the world. In recent years, the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has increased notably in a range of diseases and settings throughout diverse fields of medicine, such as acute and chronic orthopedic injuries, aesthetics, restoring hair loss, and wound healing. Good outcomes have been found in various case series and controlled studies related to this.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is blood plasma (otherwise referred to as the ‘yellow blood’ component) with an unusually high concentration of platelets and growth factors; the cytokines and chemokines. These are the healing and regenerative factors of the body that are carried by your blood. Platelets are found in your blood and play an important role in healing injuries.
Along with those platelets, the plasma contains a number of different growth factors including epidermal growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, and connective tissue growth factor. These are just three of the growth factors the body uses for natural wound healing by promoting cell migration, proliferation and differentiation, which are essential for wound healing.
A high-quality PRP system can concentrate platelets 6-10 times greater than what is usual in blood. Blood is drawn from the patient and is then placed in a centrifuge to spin at high speeds. This allows the PRP to separate from the blood.
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Wounds, especially the chronic ones, can be disturbing for weeks, months, or even years at a time, impacting your day-to-day life and even your work and time with family. It can be a result of an underlying disease, underlying vascular issues, infection and may cause much pain.
The beauty of PRP is that it uses the body’s own immune system to initiate a healing response, which pushes a wound of its healing process from the inflammatory phase to the proliferative phase. PRP can provide a fibrin scaffold for new tissue to grow onto, thus allowing new skin and tissue to form. If the PRP is injected directly into the wound base and along the edges in the wound, it initiates regeneration of the cells, thus promoting blood vessel formation and healing.
Application of PRP has been demonstrated to be effective in both acute and chronic ulcers. Increased rates of cell proliferation and cell migration have been associated with the upregulation of different cell-cycle-regulatory proteins.
PRP does not only release large quantities of platelet growth factors to enhance the healing process, has anti-inflammatory properties, and antimicrobial properties that may contribute to the prevention of infections.
During the centrifuge process both platelets and white blood cells are concentrated, thus high levels of white blood cells are found in PRP too.
In cases of wound care, PRP is injected directly into the affected area. Injecting platelet-rich plasma directly into the site of the wound instantly introduces a high volume of platelets, growth factors, and other nutrients.
The body can immediately use those materials to jump start the healing cascade, promoting regeneration of epithelial and endothelial cells, angiogenesis and healing damaged tissues. Healing occurs more quickly, thus reducing the total time needed, the risk of infection, and the risk of scarring.
PRP treatments have become an ideal therapy in the treatment of chronic skin related wounds.
Next read: Wounds
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