Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP): The Anatomy of Blood Explained

Can injections of a concentrated version of our own blood give us a more youthful appearance? Strange though it may seem, this is exactly the idea behind platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments. When we think of skin rejuvenation, the last thing that may comes to mind is our own plasma. The secret to PRP, however, lies in utilizing the growth factors (proteins that stimulate cell division and growth) and platelets found in the blood. Skin Care & Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills offers microneedling and PRP in Los Angeles to help patients get radiant, revitalized skin.

During a treatment session, blood is collected, then processed to concentrate the platelets. The resulting plasma that now contains an abundance of platelets (which contain regenerative proteins) is applied directly to the skin. This sparks the growth of new, healthy collagen and skin cells, which makes the skin stronger and tighter. It is used to address everything from wrinkles and sun damage to acne scars and discolorations—and even hair loss!

But what, really, is blood, and why are platelets important? The most important function of blood is to constantly carry oxygen throughout the body, bringing the life-giving element to cells, tissues, and organs. This helps to keep our internal environment regulated. Adding to that, blood helps the immune system to fight off infections.

Our blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets—which originate in the bone marrow—and plasma, which is absorbed from the digestive system. Red blood cells, which are designed to transport oxygen, have an indented, disc-like appearance, while disease-fighting white blood cells are small and appear colorless. Plasma consists almost entirely of water, along with some glucose, mineral salts, proteins, and other substances.

Platelets are essential to blood clotting, as they prevent uncontrolled bleeding by sealing breaks in blood vessel walls (for example, when you accidentally cut your skin). PRP harnesses the healing and regenerative properties of platelet-derived growth factors to refresh the appearance of the skin. There is also evidence that the rejuvenating effects can “wake up” follicles that have stopped producing hairs, leading to thinning or bald patches on the scalp.

To discover more about PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and other skin rejuvenation procedures, fill out a contact form online or call the physician-only Skin Care & Laser Physicians of Beverly Hills directly at 310-246-0495.

Written by Dr. Derek Jones

Dr. Derek Jones is a renowned Los Angeles and Beverly Hills area dermatologist practicing in cosmetic and general dermatology.