Platelet-rich plasma therapy offers natural solution in cosmetics
RAPID CITY, S.D. – For many years, medical practitioners have been using a treatment known as platelet-rich plasma therapy to help heal injuries. The treatment, which involves injecting small amounts of a patient’s own blood components into targeted areas of the body, is now gaining traction as a natural approach to skin and hair rejuvenation.
Nic Yost, a nurse practitioner based in Rapid City, offers the procedure at her downtown medical spa. Yost says there’s a growing demand for PRP therapy because the process doesn’t involve harsh chemicals or pharmaceuticals and has minimal side effects.
“That’s kind of the kicker with PRP. It’s much lower risk. With anything unnatural put into your body, you’re going to have more risk for adverse effects. With PRP there’s little to no risk,” said Yost.
Yost says she uses PRP therapy to help her patients with a variety of ailments, including skin issues, anti-aging, scar treatment, vaginal rejuvenation and hair loss.
During a treatment, a small amount of blood is drawn and then centrifuged to separate plasma from red blood cells. The resulting plasma serum, which Yost refers to as ‘liquid gold,’ is rich with platelets, which have natural healing properties.
The treatment is already used in a wide variety of applications within the medical field, including orthopedics, trauma surgery, sports medicine and dentistry. Health care practitioners most commonly use PRP to speed up the healing process of injuries and reduce inflammation.
“PRP therapy started about forty years ago,” said Yost. “When sports medicine and surgery really started using it to specifically heal tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles and wounds from surgery.”
When it comes to treating skin conditions, PRP serum stimulates collagen and elastin production along with a host of therapeutic effects.
“In aesthetics, they call it a total rejuvenation because it thickens and tightens skin. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It improves texture and tone. And it’s really great for rosacea and acne,” said Yost.
Yost says PRP therapy has also become one of the best ways to treat problem areas where the skin is very thin, like under the eyes.
“It’s very risky to have fillers placed under the eyes. And then lasers can’t really reach that area either, just because it’s so close to the eye. And so PRP has really become the go-to in improving the skin in those more delicate areas,” said Yost.
In terms of hair restoration, the serum is injected into regions where patients are experiencing hair loss or thinning – including on the scalp and patchy areas of the beard. The active growth factors in platelets stimulate hair growth. They also increase the hair’s thickness and overall health.
“It’s by far the best results I’ve seen in anything, even medications for hair growth,” said Yost. “PRP is just far and wide a more productive hair growth method. Usually, downtime is little to none and the results appear after three to four weeks. And that’s just because it takes the cells about 28 days to turnover in our body. So it’s just a natural process and the results last 12 to 18 months.”