Stem cells in cosmetology. What is the real picture? What works and what doesn’t
One of the biggest grouses of growing old is losing our good looks to baldness, wrinkles and many of the other unaesthetic syndromes. As the adage goes, one man’s problem is another man’s business and with this problem of ours, many businesses are flourishing to lure us with solutions for baldness and skin rejuvenation.
A new fad that may have caught your eye through numerous pamphlets and TV commercials is Stem Cell Treatment to cure baldness. With rising awareness on stem cells and their applications in medicine, these skin and hair care clinics surely know how to make hay while the sun shines.
But what is the real picture? What do stem cell treatments for skin and hair rejuvenation entail?
What should you know before you open up your wallet in the hope to restore your good looks?
Do the clinics really use stem cells?
What these clinics refer to as stem cells aren’t human stem cells really, but plant derivatives. These are obtained from the stem of plants and thus are not equal in function to stem cells in our body!
These have little or no effect on our skin or scalp.
Are there genuine skin/hair rejuvenation treatments out there at all?
Autologous PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injection is a promising medical procedure that uses the patient’s own platelets, which are the reservoir of growth factors, to help in skin and hair rejuvenation. The PRP procedure is widely used for other medical applications including sports medicine, dentistry and reconstructive surgery. Their entry into the field of cosmetology is quite recent and you may find many cosmetologists across the globe are considering this procedure as a novel tool and adjuvant to standard procedures to improve the outcomes.
What is PRP?
PRP is Platelet Rich Plasma. Blood consists of different elements including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets that are suspended in plasma. The platelets help in healing by repairing damaged blood vessels. This healing activity is a continuous process that keeps occurring in our body. For eg., When we get wounded, the platelets in the blood rush to the site of the injury to allow healing of the wound by clotting the blood and facilitate the formation of new cells to cover the wounded area. Imagine introducing these platelets to a site where there is a compromised blood flow and decreased repair mechanisms. This is the concept of using PRP for the cosmetic treatments.
Through certain techniques, the platelets can be concentrated by removing the other cells in the plasma. This is known as Platelet Rich Plasma. For this, the patient’s own blood can be taken and spun down at different speeds to concentrate platelets in the plasma.
Platelets contain growth factors that activate and rejuvenate cells in the body. The enhanced tissue repair activity has shown good results in both hair re-growth and skin rejuvenation. How PRP is used in skin & hair rejuvenation
When PRP that is rich in platelets and growth factors is introduced to the site of hair loss, the enhanced circulation of platelets will stimulate the follicles to grow and also thicken the hair shaft.
How is this done?
PRP for hair restoration is used in three ways:
- By injecting PRP directly to the site of hair loss where it promotes new hair growth
- For those undergoing hair transplants, the hair grafts are dipped in PRP concentrate before transplant
- For those who have underwent hair transplants: A PRP spray is applied on the sites of transplant so as to promote healing and reduce scarring
What you need to keep in mind:
- Your age: The older you become, the slower the healing process
- Platelet Count: You should not be on anti-platelet therapy or drugs to take PRP procedure.
- Hereditary: If baldness runs in the family, you have only your genes to blame and PRP treatments may not be effective.
PRP for skin rejuvenation is used in cases of fine lines, wrinkles on the lips, acne marks, wrinkles on the forehead and neck, bags and dark circles under the eyes and loose and saggy skin.
How is this done?
Steps involved in using PRP for skin treatments:
- A roller is used for micro-needling to create multiple channels for the intake of PRP
- Subcutaneous injection: Where small doses of PRP are injected into different spots on the skin. This is referred to as ‘Vampire Face!’ (OR)
- Topical application: Where the PRP is sprayed upon the skin
What are the advantages of PRP treatments:
- No allergy: As your own platelets are used, there is no risk of you developing an allergy
- Safe: No risk of transmittable diseases such as HIV & Hepatitis
- Autologous: As your own platelets are used, there is no risk of rejection
- Convenience: These do not require elaborate laboratory oriented procedures. PRP can be harvested in a treatment room itself
PRP treatments for skin and hair rejuvenation may require multiple injections spread across different sittings. The average cost for an injection may vary between Rs.15,000 – Rs.20,000.
The Cellular Therapy Department at LifeCell provides PRP treatment solutions for leading cosmetic / skin care clinics. To learn more write to firstname.lastname@example.org