Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has recently been made popular in “Vampire Facials” to improve skin quality and help decrease wrinkles. PRP has been used for years to help decrease pain and inflammation in joints. PRP is full of over 30 growth factors and proteins which stimulate cell health and regeneration in some cases.
We us PRP for dry eyes but it is also being used for chronic sinus congestion, a range of cosmetic issues, and acne.
What is PRP?
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is concentrated platelets drawn from your own blood. Your blood is centrifuged to separate out just the platelets.
What Are Risks of PRP?
PRP is a natural treatment option. It will not increase your risk of cataract and glaucoma which can occur from chronic steroid drop or pill use. The biggest risk, which I have not seen so far in its use in dry eyes, is infection. This would occur if the drops are left out of the refrig/freezer for a long period of time and bacteria is allowed to enter the bottle (ie you touch the top of the drop on a foreign surface) and bacteria starts to grow as there are no preservatives in the bottles.
Dry eye syndrome: The PRP is used at either 100% or mixed with non-preserved normal saline to create a pH similar to that of natural tears. PRP is put into sterile eye drop bottles and can be instilled into the eyes 3-4 times per day. Some patients need them every hour if dealing with a severe chemical burn or severe dry eye.
The most common side effect is some mild minor burning or tingling to the eyes right after the eye drops have been instilled. In my experience I have only one patient who has noted this. This patient noted Autologous Serum tears had no burning just the PRP. Not sure why but likely a slight different in the ph between this patient’s concentrated platelets and serum.
It should feels cold when applied because it needs to be kept refrigerated. Some patients have shared that it feels soothing and moisturizing when applied. My patients who have been using PRP eye drops have noticed a reduction in their dry eye symptoms, less eye irritation, and have been without symptoms for longer periods of time.
Meibography of severe meibomian gland loss (those white columns that look like they are falling or crumbling..are what are left of meibomian gland structures and it’s oil).
Chronic sinus congestion: PRP nasal spray has been used in chronic sinus congestion. The risks are the same but very rare. PRP nasal spray can be made by mixing the PRP with normal saline and put in a nasal spray bottle that can be sent home with you. It can be used 2-4 times per day. If you suffer from chronic sinus congestion and frequent sinus infections, this may help. There are many reports of patients who have noticed a reduction in the reduction in congestion just a few days after starting their first treatment. Still I have not seen any published papers yet to prove this is better than placebo.
Skin Issues & Acne: Kim Kardashian used PRP after a microabrasion technique. 100% PRP used for acne as well is. Usually the PRP is sent home in sterile bottles or syringes to apply topically to the affected sites.before bedtime and left on the skin for at least 8 hours. There are no reported risks of this treatment that I know of. People who have used this treatment for their acne have reported a reduction in open and closed acne lesions and a reduction in redness within the first few weeks of treatment.
How it is stored
The PRP only maintains its effectiveness if kept refrigerated or frozen. It lasts about 1 week in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer. It should always be kept out of sunlight. Each week you will use a new container of PRP for your treatment.
Contact us if you are interested in finding out more about PRP.