The use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has the potential for so much more than skin rejuvenation for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes, says RN, nutritionist and naturopath, Madeline Calfas.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are a relatively new medical technology used in sports medicine for the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and in aesthetic medicine for anti-ageing.
Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Kate Langbroek have made the ‘vampire facial’ famous. The processes of PRP reported of which are inaccurate, says Ms Calfas who has been doing PRP injections for the past six years at the Wellness Group she founded in 2002.
Ms Calfas will be demystifying PRP at the 2018 A5M Conference in anti-ageing and aesthetic medicine held in Melbourne this month. The conference theme is Exploring the intrinsic connection between inner and outer health.
PRP is concentrated platelet content present in blood. Platelets also release growth factors that help the human body to repair itself by stimulating cells to regenerate new tissue.
Ms Calfas says the blood’s platelets and plasma are “liquid gold”.
“PRP harnesses the body’s own healing powers. When we injure ourselves we get a bruise. We get plasma growth factors which causes a healing cascade to repair an injury.
“PRP brings on the body’s platelets and growth factors quicker to fasten the process.
There is so much potential for PRP but some people see it just for skin rejuvenation.”
This includes for wound healing, inflammatory control, diabetic leg ulcers and burns, Ms Calfas says.
One client had a leg ulcer following leg vein removal that hadn’t healed in five months, she says. “It was quite inflamed. We used PRP and four weeks later it had dried up. Another four weeks and the wound had shrunk.”
Another woman had an infected wound on the top of her foot from a stingray barb. “She was going to need a wound revision. She was in her 30s with young children and couldn’t be off her feet for three weeks post-surgery. We used PRP which was successful.”
The process is relatively simple, says Ms Calfas. Blood is taken and spun through a centrifuge. What is not needed or wanted is rejected. The ‘liquid gold’ PRP is isolated. “Five minutes for a blood test, eight minutes for it to spin and then 10 minutes to inject it.”
PRP is not covered by Medicare or currently any private health fund.
“Mainstream medicine is of the view that it is a cosmetic treatment,” says Ms Calfas.
The cost of PRP injections varies but is around $350-500. Generally people require one treatment a month for three to four months.
As the body’s own plasma is used, there is no risk of disease transmission, anaphylaxis or neoplasia. Worst case scenario is that nothing happens, says Ms Calfas.
The benefits of PRP could be expanded beyond chronic injuries and wounds, says Ms Calfas.
“One lady who came to us for something else had rosacea. She needed steroid creams which were not working. We used PRP for inflammatory control and it worked. PRP would be a good tool to heal burns.”
“I really hope it takes off in Australia, yes there is the potential for musculoskeletal but also for gynaecological conditions.”
The A5M Conference will be held on 4-5 August at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins. Visit www.a5m.net.au/