What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?
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Platelet - Rich Plasma Therapy - Uses, Risks, and Side Effects

Published on Feb 06, 2023 and last reviewed on Jul 11, 2023   -  4 min read


Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a trending topic in cosmetology. Read the article to know about platelet-rich plasma protein therapy.


The human body is designed in such a way that it can heal by itself. This fact has been implemented in platelet-rich plasma therapy, a form of regenerative treatment proven to produce growth factors naturally to heal the tissues.

What Is Plasma?

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood acting as a medium for carrying red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets throughout the body. In addition, it is composed of water and proteins.

What Are Platelets?

Platelets are one among the blood cells, also called thrombocytes. Platelets have a significant role in clotting blood. When the blood vessel gets damaged, the platelets receive signals from the body to reach the site, clump together, and clot the blood. Therefore, platelets are generally transfused to save the lives of people suffering from severe blood loss. In addition, the platelets can regenerate quickly and be donated every seven days.

What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma?

Platelet-rich plasma is a concentrated source containing growth and cellular signaling factors prepared from the individual’s platelets. The blood sample collected from the individual is subjected to centrifugation, which separates the blood into its components. The platelet-rich plasma is then obtained and injected into the area to be treated. The injection of platelet-rich plasma is guided using ultrasound for precise placement into the tissues.

What Are the Uses of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections?

  • Skin Rejuvenation: Platelet-rich plasma therapy can reduce the early signs of aging by stimulating collagen production in the skin.

  • Hair Loss: Platelet-rich plasma injections help prevent hair loss and stimulate growth.

  • Osteoarthritis: In the case of osteoarthritis, the pain and inflammation around the joints can be healed by platelet-rich plasma injections.

  • Post-Surgical Healing: The post-surgical injuries are healed by placing platelet-rich plasma stitched along the surgical site.

  • Tendon, Ligament, Muscle, and Joint Injuries: Platelet-rich plasma injections can treat musculoskeletal injuries. For example, tendon injuries such as tennis elbows take a long time to heal. Platelet-rich plasma shots are given to fasten the healing process and reduce pain.

  • Fractures: Platelet-rich plasma injection is rarely used to heal broken bones.

How Do Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections Work?

The increased concentration of growth factors in platelet-rich plasma helps heal the tissues. The injured site can be healed using platelet-rich plasma injections in two ways. They are,

  • Platelet-rich plasma is injected directly into the injured area. For example, platelet-rich plasma in Achilles tendonitis is injected with a local anesthetic into the inflamed tissues to reduce inflammation and pain.

  • Platelet-rich plasma is also used to improve the healing of the surgical site. For example, an individual with a torn heel requires surgery. Recovery of the surgical site can be improved by treating using platelet-rich plasma injection during the surgery. The platelet-rich plasma is prepared uniquely to stitch it along with the torn tissues.

Who Is Not Indicated for Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections?

Although platelet-rich plasma is taken from the individual’s blood, it cannot be applicable for use in individuals with:

  • Abnormal platelet count.

  • Anemia.

  • Infection at the site.

  • Skin cancer.

  • Hepatitis C.

  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) or AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

  • Blood cancer.

  • Dermatological disorders.

  • Pregnancy.

  • Lactation.

What Are the Risks and Side Effects of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections?

  • Platelet-rich plasma therapy is low-risk and does not cause serious side effects. However, the procedure involves drawing blood. Hence, the individual must be hydrated and should have eaten before the procedure to prevent feeling dizzy and lightheaded.

  • The individual may experience the sensation of burning and soreness at the injection site.

  • The risk of allergic reaction is low as the platelet-rich plasma injection is made from the own plasma and cells of the individual.

  • The common risks of platelet-rich plasma injections are bleeding, tissue damage, infection, and nerve injuries.

Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection a Permanent Solution?

A series of visits are required to obtain initial results. And after the results appear, touch-ups are needed at least once a year for the best results.

What to Do Before and After Getting Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections?

  • Before undergoing a platelet-rich plasma injection, the individual should stop medications such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen.

  • The individual should avoid taking vitamin and herbal supplements.

  • The individual should eat and drink adequate amounts of water to prevent lightheadedness.

  • The area treated should not be washed 48 hours after the injection.

  • The individual might feel sharp pain, soreness, and bruising in the treated site.

What Are the Precautions for Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection for Skin Rejuvenation?

  • The individual should clean the face but not apply makeup or other skin care products on the day of treatment.

  • The injected area must be iced once the treatment is complete to prevent bruises or burns.

  • Individuals with sensitive skin should thoroughly discuss the side effects before, during, and after the treatment.

  • The procedure involves a micro-needling process, so ample breaks must be given between treatments to allow skin healing.

  • Avoid doing any strenuous activity after the treatment is completed.

  • The individual can use a moisturizer and broad-spectrum sunscreen.

  • The individual should avoid excessive sun exposure.

What Are the Precautions for Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection for Hair?

  • The individual planning the procedure must wash the hair with a regular shampoo without using other hair care products.

  • Do not rub or touch the area to be treated for at least eight hours after the procedure.

  • Do not wet the hair three hours after the procedure.

  • For the first three days, using a pH-balanced shampoo is recommended.

  • Do not swim for at least two days after the treatment.

  • If the individual experiences pain and discomfort, Acetaminophen can be taken under the doctor’s supervision.

  • Applying ice to the area injected can reduce pain, swelling, and bruises.


If an individual wishes to have a platelet-rich plasma injection, talking to the health care provider is essential to know the eligibility for the procedure. And the fact is that platelet-rich plasma injection is still under research for different applications in cosmetology. It is not like a drug prescribed by a physician, as it is derived from one’s blood.

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Last reviewed at:
11 Jul 2023  -  4 min read




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