Dr. Stephenson Shares The Best Way To Fight Signs of Aging

We all lust after the hair and skin we had years ago, but without time machines, we're stuck. Renowned, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Earl Stephenson tells Haute Beauty how to get back to that youthful hair and skin with PRP.

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What is PRP therapy?

PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. Therapies using a patient’s own blood, about a tablespoon (15 ml). The blood is spun in a device to separate the blood red blood cells and plasma. The plasma is used because it contains growth factors, stem cells and platelets. This plasma mixture is used in and on the face where signs of aging have appeared.

Describe PRP for the face.

PRP therapy is most commonly combined with a micro-needling procedure prior to the application of the patients own plasma. The purpose of this is two-fold.
First, tiny microneedles are used to create small injuries to the skin in order to stimulate the bodies healing process. Part of that healing process for skin involves collagen and elastin production. As we age, we lose collagen and elastin in our skin, causing it to be crepey and wrinkled. Restoring some of that collagen results in plump, youthful-looking skin.
Secondly, the patient’s own plasma is used over the tiny channels that are created by the microneedles. This is done to assist the body with its own healing process by adding stem cells, growth factors and platelets to the treated area. These stem cells become new collagen and elastin. As a bonus, there’s no risk of allergic reaction as there is with products and chemicals applied to the skin.

Describe PRP injections.

PRP injections can be done in the scalp to produce stem cells that become hair follicles to treat hair loss.

Can PRP therapy be combined with other treatments?

Yes. Microneedling is combined with PRP most often but PRP can be combined with other treatments as well:
- Laser facial resurfacing + PRP
- Facial fat grafting + PRP
- Hair loss/balding scalp + PRP
- Injectable Dermal Fillers + PRP
If you have had Botox injections, you should wait at least two weeks to have PRP with microneedling.

Will you need multiple treatments with PRP therapy?

For best results, it is recommended that you have a total of 3-6 sessions, 1 month apart, to give the body time to heal and create new cells. Even after the last treatment, you will continue to see improvement.

Describe a good candidate for PRP therapy.

Anyone who wants to improve the look of their skin or treat hair loss. It can improve the appearance of wrinkles, acne scars and age spots on the face when combined with microneedling and can help generate new hair growth.

Who is not a good candidate for PRP therapy?

Poor general medical health. Specifically, patients with blood disorders, poorly controlled diabetes, active skin infection and cancer patients who have not been in remission for at least 5 years

How much downtime is needed after PRP therapy?

Virtually no downtime. Skin can appear red for two days following PRP with microneedling and you should avoid using makeup for 48-72 hours so the microchannels can close.

When will you see improved results from PRP therapy?

You will start to see improvement in the texture of your skin in seven days with continued improvement for three to six months.