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Inject blood to iron out wrinkles?

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For people looking to rid their face of wrinkles but who aren’t prepared to have foreign substances such as Botox or fillers injected, the ‘vampire facelift’ could be the answer.

The vampire facelift procedure – whose proper name is platelet rich plasma or PRP for short – involves injecting the patient’s own blood back into them

First, blood is removed from the patient – normally from the arm. This blood is put into a special machine that separates the platelets out. Platelets are a natural source of growth factors and they help to form blood clots in the case of wounds such as cuts or bruises. They are also thought to help the skin repair itself.

There is some science behind the PRP treatment. When rats have been injected with platelets, scientists have found that their skin habours increased numbers of collage fibres and their skin quality was deemed to have improved. Platelet transfusions have also been long-used in other areas of medicine for example in patients undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplants and radiation treatment.

Although the injected platelets come from the patient’s own body there is still the risk of side effects. Although side effects are rare, some people may find that platelet injections can cause itching, rashes or a temperature.

There are several downsides to the PRP treatment for reducing the look of wrinkles. The first is that because it is a relatively new procedure, it doesn’t work for everyone. At present around 60 percent of patients will see an improvement. However cosmetic experts are currently looking at whether changing the concentration of the platelets affects the efficacy of the treatment. Given that it costs over £1,000 for a set of injections some may deem it too high a price for a treatment where there is only a 60 percent chance of the treatment having the desired results.


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