Science has evolved rapidly around growth factors in the last 10 years, and in medicine it is being used in different specialties such as oral and maxillo-facial surgery, orthopedic surgery, treatment of soft tissue diseases and injuries, burns, hard-to-heal wounds, tissue engineering, and now in skin and hair rejuvenation! Let’s dive a little deeper and answer some commonly asked questions about what they are, where we harvest them and how, and why it is a great antiaging tool for many of you.
What are growth factors?
A. A growth factor is a naturally occurring substance that plays an important role in many processes such as coagulation, immune response, angiogenesis (building blood vessels) and healing of damaged tissues. Growth factors typically act as signaling molecules between cells. Although they are used in a variety of applications for the body, the biggest benefits in aesthetics are in stimulating hair growth and boosting collagen production in the skin.
Where can you get growth factors?
A. Platelets, a type of blood cell in all of us, is a rich source of growth factors in the body! With a small blood draw and specialized equipment such as a centrifuge and a cutting-edge collection tube design we can harvest them from your blood in 30 minutes or less. It’s the most natural anti-aging medicine out there! Historically we have used lab created growth factors, which you find in many over the counter skincare, but the ones harvested from your own body are far superior. As the blood spins in the centrifuge the specialized collection tubes separate the blood cells, and the growth factors are found in the platelets which can be skimmed right from the very top. It’s pretty neat to see. It’s a very pain free and easy process to boot.
These growth factors are suspended in plasma, or clear blood, and are now called platelet-rich-plasma (“PRP”) or platelet-rich-fibrin (“PRF”). Platelets as a main components of the PRP, which contain more than 1100 different proteins, and over 1500 protein-based bioactive factors. These factors include immune system messengers, growth factors, enzymes and their inhibitors and other factors which can participate in tissue repair and rejuvenation.
What the difference between PRP and PRF?
A. PRF, is basically the next-generation of PRP. Centrifuged at a lower speed, it allows some white cells and stem cells, to be added to the growth factors. Because the fibrin matrix in PRF is better organized than in PRP, PRF is able to direct stem cell migration and healing more efficiently. These additional elements make PRF a much more desired product when used in skin and hair treatments. At our office we only use PRF, due to its superior results!
How does PRF work on hair? Does it really work?
A. Recent advancement in the fields of regenerative and laser medicine, along with targeted nutritional therapies, have completely transformed hair loss therapies and outcomes. One of the shinning stars in this field, is without a doubt, PRP (or PRF) scalp injections. PRF is injected in small micro injections into the areas where you experience the most hair loss and imagine it acting much like a fertilizer would on your lawn. It stimulates the hair follicles to grow hair and making it stay in the growth phase longer. Couple it with some great supplements that strengthen the hair and you can have tremendous results. Typically, a treatment would consist of 3 visits spaced about a month apart, followed by bi-annual maintenance treatments. And, yes, with proper patient selection and technique, it really does work.
I have heard of PRP being injected into the face as a filler or used after microneedling (Vampire Facial). What’s happening there? What results can you expect?
A. PRF can also be used similar to a dermal filler to add some volume and improve skin quality, and I find it especially helpful in the delicate skin around the eyes. Again, it’s biggest antiaging benefit is in its ability to stimulate collagenases and elastin production. Fillers by contrast have a much more immediate result. Once the swelling wears off that’s pretty much the result you can expect. With PRP/PRF injections the results are in the response your body has to the injections. It’s very safe, well studied and beloved as a complementary anti-aging treatment.
PRP/PRF can also be used after your laser or microneedling treatments. The science is very clear on the benefits to wound healing and stimulation of new cell growth. By combining these treatments you can get a much more amplified result. Both lasers and microneedling create these micro channels which kick your body’s wound healing into high gear without causing too much damage, when you layer PRP/PRF on top, these growth factors can finally penetrate the upper dermis! Kim Kardashian made a similar treatment very famous when she had a “vampire facial” done on tv. This is no down time and safe procedure that can really make a difference in pore size, crepey skin, textural issues, acne scarring, fine line and wrinkles while adding a nice glow and increasing firmness.
Meet Dr. Vanden Bosch!
Dr. V - Neda Vanden Bosch is an highly-trained physician and sought after injector of dermal fillers and neurotoxins. With over 10 years of experience in aesthetic medicine, she is a faculty member of the prestigious Galderma Injection Training Network (GAIN) and trains physicians how to perform cosmetic procedures. Dr. V was recently named to Galderma's Top 100 Injectors. She has had extensive training and experience with collagen stimulators, laser and radiofrequency treatment, as well as skin care. Dr. V is licensed in 10 states. She is board certified by the American Board of Radiology. Dr. V has treated thousands of patients with injectables and has numerous of hours of experience perfecting specialized injection placement to correct facial volume loss and facial asymmetries. Preciseness with a woman's deft touch means the best and longest lasting results from volume replacement treatments. Dr. V was named a "Top Doctor" by online, aesthetic and cosmetic treatment community Realself.com. This recognition is awarded to less than 10% of doctors site wide. Most recently, she was named as one of the 2020 TOP Aesthetic doctors by Aesthetic Everything.