The Age Eraser

By: Erin Docherty For CosBeauty

PRP has gained fame with the trademark Vampire Facelift,
and is now opening doors for a range of cosmetic and wellness possibilities.

PRP is a treatment with seemingly endless areas for application – from turning back the clock on ageing to helping with sexual dysfunction. And that's just the start.

Using the body's own natural resources, PRP (platelet-rich plasma) works by literally drawing on your own blood and re-injecting higher concentrations of blood platelets, which release growth factors to the treatment site and stimulate new cell growth and regeneration.

RegenLab PRP was the first to market PRP in the Australian aesthetic arena back in 2007. Now, with 96 clinical publications backing it (and counting), RegenLab PRP provides evidence-based medicine for all uses of PRP; it's a proven system using optimal concentrations for optimal results.

The Vampire Facelift

The evolution of PRP for aesthetic treatment is the trademark Vampire Facelift developed by Dr Charles Runels in the US. It's become a popular skin rejuvenation treatment around the world, no doubt bolstered by its celebrity clientele (just Google it to watch Kim K having one).

The Vampire Facelift is a unique treatment that uses a combination of strategically placed hyaluronic acid gel dermal fillers for structure, and PRP overlay for enhancement of the skin. This results in a natural-looking restoration of facial volume and shape, without looking overdone.

"When I treat someone's face, I make them look five years younger, but importantly they're not frozen in time. We just reset the clock," says Dr Runels, pioneer of the Vampire Facelift.

The improvement is gradual and results are cumulative. Usually a course of three to four treatments over a four to six months are required, with a single top-up treatment once or twice a year.

In the first part of the Vampire Facelift procedure, the practitioner strategically injects filler to achieve a more sculpted and contoured face –while still keeping the shape natural.

Next he or she harvests your own blood growth factors (hence the name Vampire), which your body would normally use to heal damaged tissue.

"To do this, a numbing cream is applied to the face, blood is drawn and then it takes about 5-10 minutes to process the blood. We then extract the platelets from the blood and put it into a syringe and it is injected after the filler is used to sculpt the face,"
Dr Runels explains.

This platelet-rich plasma improves the tone, texture and luminosity of the skin, as well as reducing pore size, and improving the fine crepey skin around the eyes.

"We can go places with PRP that we can't go with filler, for example, we can use the plasma around the eye area," says Dr Runels. "The end result is a beautifully sculpted face with a nice colour and textural improvement."

The O-Shot and the P-Shot

The O-Shot and P-Shot are other PRP treatments also pioneered by Dr Runels – and are changing the approach to sexual dysfunction.

The O-Shot uses PRP in specific areas of the vagina to improve sexual satisfaction. Improvement in vaginal tightening and sensitivity can result in better orgasms and a happier sex life. Similarly, the P-Shot uses PRP to improve the strength of erections, penile girth and sensitivity.

After seeing the outstanding results from treating faces, Dr Runels trialled PRP treatment for erectile dysfunction and noted results in increased volume and blood flow without any side effects.

"It's an absolute game changer," he says. "While we have implants, drugs and other treatment options for men, the P-Shot is the first method brought to the market to actually improve the circulation of blood to the penis. There are people who try to convince that drug therapy is the best option, but that's not always the best thing if you can make the genital tissue better using your body's own reparative cells."

While Dr Runels was working with the idea of the P-shot, it occurred to him that other things had been used for urinary incontinence and sexual enhancement in females, with limited results and high side effects. So just what if PRP could be used for female sexual function?

"Basically, with O-shot and P-shot we now have two helpful tools that actually help the tissue of the genitalia itself," says Dr Runels.

"The results are absolutely amazing. These simple procedures mean sufferers can have a comfortable sex life and healthy relationship again. Sexual dysfunction in females is not only under-recorded but it's under-appreciated and it very often profoundly affects women's self-confidence and can lead to depression. Lives can be changed dramatically with the O-shot."

"The techniques are evolving thanks to the pioneering practitioners who are now thinking, teaching, modifying and implementing better ways to use the technique, as well as educating people about newer options available to them."

"PRP is finally being discovered by other arenas and not just confined to surgery for 15 years, like it was previously. We're learning how to use it in medical specialties such as dermatology, urology and gynaecology. If that comes into play I believe we're going to see an explosion of treatments, and the way we define, create, isolate and use PRP is going to evolve into something amazing," concludes Dr Runels.

Everyone's talking PRP

This is an area of medicine that is seriously growing. Every year PRP is attracting more practitioners and patients because of the regenerative results it produces and increased knowledge about the virtually limitless potentials in how it can be used.

In September 2016 hundreds of doctors met in Italy to share, learn and workshop the regenerative and aesthetic capabilities of PRP at the annual Biobridge Conference. Two local doctors, Dr Abbas Al-Taiff and Dr Robin Chok, were among the attendees.

"PRP's role in internal and external wellness is developing – and it's endless. In the musculoskeletal system it has a very widerange of applications and indications. For aesthetic medicine it has a promising future for the management of a variety of appearance and medical and/or cosmetic issues, including sexual medicine," says Dr Al-Taiff.

"Regenerative medicine is an exciting field, promising successful results. It needs proper training, motivated professionals and appropriate candidates. Our mission is to overcome many health issues with our own cells," he says.

Since the advent of worldwide interest in the Vampire Facelift, and especially amongst the A-listers, there has been a growing demand than ever for PRP procedures.

"RegenLab Biobridge Conference 2016 has been the most exciting congress of experts from all over the world to discuss the regenerative medical powers of PRP," says Dr Chok. "Regenerative medicine is rapidly becoming the norm, as we continue to have a better understanding of how we can preserve our body function with our own body tissue. Only with our own DNA stimulation and reactivation is it possible to fight ageing and also many illnesses that even modern medicine has not been able to treat."

"With the advent of 3D tissue printing I believe regenerative medicine will truly take off to a whole new dimension, as we will have tissue that is much more bio-compatible to our body's biophysical function. Advanced processing of bio materials such as calcium and silk are being looked into now – the future is definitely brighter and not too far away," Dr Chok concludes.

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