Everyone knows the platelets in our blood are the clotting mechanism that close a wound. But most of us don’t think of them much beyond that. But our blood platelets have a little secret — they’re also powerful little growth facilitators, which is another part of their wound-healing prowess.

OK, what if you took those platelets and concentrated them? Then you could inject them into areas of our facial skin that could use a little rejuvenation.

You’d have platelet-rich plasma. In his Naples aesthetic practice, Dr. Turk uses platelet-rich plasma for what we call rejuvenating plasma injections.

What is platelet-rich plasma?

If you take a blood sample and remove all the red blood cells, what you’re left with is plasma, white blood cells, and blood platelets, but in a much higher concentration than when the red blood cells are in there. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been used for years to speed the healing of joints, tendons, and muscle tissue in professional athletes. Now it can “heal” problems such as sun damage, acne scars and stretch marks, and the decreasing volume that is a part of normal aging.

How is a PRP treatment done?

At Naples Cosmetic Surgery, we start the PRP process by taking a small amount of blood from you, about the same amount used for a typical lab test. That blood is then placed in a centrifuge that spins at a high rate and separates the different components of the blood. The red blood cells are removed, leaving a concentrated number of platelets, white blood cells, and plasma (the clear fluid that makes blood liquid). This plasma now contains a higher than normal number of platelets (four times higher) and is called platelet-rich plasma.

Dr. Turk then reinjects the PRP back into areas of the patient’s face that need rejuvenation. He uses it to address areas of aging skin, to plump out flattened cheeks, to soften under-eye hollows, and as an alternative to filler injections. Once injected the PRP stimulates the growth of new collagen, revitalizes skin tissue, and smoothes and firms the skin. That’s where PRP injections are different than dermal fillers. Dermal fillers simply fill lines and folds. PRP fuels skin rejuvenation. You can think of PRP as a natural filler that is rebuilding rather than simply filling.

What happens after my session and when will I see results?

The entire PRP session takes only around 30 minutes and is relatively painless. There isn’t any recovery time, but there can be some slight redness and swelling at the treatment sites. This passes very quickly.

Results begin to show themselves in three to four weeks as new collagen is added to the treatment areas, and these results continue to build for months.

Interested in putting your own platelets to work improving your facial skin? Call Dr. Turk at (239) 348-4357 and ask about our rejuvenating plasma injections.

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