Ageing skin is a concern for many people, as a youthful appearance is highly valued in most cultures. Changes in our appearance can affect self-esteem, relationships and even career progression. Whether one likes it or not, appearance affects how we are perceived by others. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, modern cosmetic surgery is first performed on patients who have been disfigured by traumatic accidents. Evidence of the use of reconstructive skin grafts dates back to 800 B.C.
in the United States, and the rate of cosmetic surgery increased rapidly in the early 20th century as veterans returned from the First World War. Reconstructive techniques initially applied to veterans were soon applied to non-traumatised patients who were undergoing the natural biological ageing process or were dissatisfied with their appearance. Surgical procedures are expensive and carry the risk of complications such as haematomas and infections. And patients may not always be happy with the results. For men and women who do not want to go under the knife or inject toxic substances, there is a need for safe and biological skin rejuvenation solutions.
In 2014, Korean researchers published the results of a study that examined the effects of platelet-rich plasma on suborbital wrinkles and skin tone. The small, prospective trial used a split-face approach, meaning that only half of each patient’s face was treated, with each patient acting as her own control. 20 women with an average age of 50 were randomised into two groups. 10 patients received PRP injections on one side and platelet-deficient plasma on the other. In the second group, half of the patients received PRP injections in the face and the other half received saline injections as a placebo. Both groups received 3 treatments at 4-week intervals and were assessed three months after the last treatment.
The results included a self-assessment questionnaire, subjective satisfaction and clinical assessment by a team of three uninformed dermatologists.
The results showed a significant improvement in wrinkles and skin tone in the PRP treatment group. PRP is a safe and effective option for men and women who wish to reconstruct sun-damaged skin without the unforeseen side effects of toxic or invasive procedures.