PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma

What is A-PRP?

Platelet rich plasma which is commonly referred to as PRP is human blood that is spun down and separated producing a concentration of platelets. Platelets are the clotting cells of our blood but they also have great potential in enhancing healing of muscle, tendon and ligaments. It is a non-operative treatment option that relieves pain by naturally promoting long lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. It has been used in orthopedics in the treatment of professional athlete’s primarily and highly functional individuals for many years. It gained popularity in athletic injuries enabling people to return back to regular activities and competition with minimal to no pain at all. It spread into other more generalized use in the population and is a very effective technique for treating arthritis, tendonitis, ligament sprains and tears. PRP therapy presents patients with a long lasting, permanent solution through the body’s natural healing process.


The blood sample is collected from the patient and is given back to the patient and is referred to as autologous collection. For simplicity of language the “autologous” is dropped and the process is referred to as PRP.

The Science Of PRP

Our blood is made up of 93% red blood cells, 6% white blood cells and 1% platelets and plasma. These platelets are critical to our survival as they are best known for their function of blood clotting, to stop bleeding. Platelets also have a critical component in injury healing. They are rich in connective tissue growth and healing factors. The body’s first response to tissue injury is to deliver platelets to the area. These platelets initiate repair and attract stem cells to the injury. By injecting growth factors into damaged tissue it stimulates the natural repair process. To maximize the healing process the platelets have to be concentrated and separated from the red blood cells. This is done by centrifuging the blood and separating the plasma and platelets from the red blood cells. The PRP accelerates the body’s natural healing process when re-injected into joints and tissue.


The use of PRP has expanded into other areas of body repair. It is used in facial aging reversal, hair regrowth, and sexual dysfunctions in males and females as well as bladder control difficulties.


How Is PRP Created?

The creation of platelet rich plasma is simple, painless and can be done in a doctor’s office. The doctor or nurse assistant will draw an appropriate blood sample exactly like a routine blood test. Once the blood is drawn it is spun in a centrifuge at high speeds to separate the blood into red cells and concentrated platelets. Once the blood is seperated these red blood cells are discarded and we are left with concentrated plasma rich protein which is ready to be used in the treatment process. On an average only 3-5 mls of plasma will be captured from one tube of blood. However a little goes a long ways and the usual amount of blood drawn is only one to two 5ml vials. This equates a maximum of 2 teaspoons in total of whole blood.


Are PRP Injections Painful?

Generally speaking PRP injections are not painful however the discomfort level depends on the part of the body being treated as well as the pain tolerance of the patient. Physicians are able to use an injector gun that precisely places the plasma at a therapeutic depth. The plasma can be also mixed with local anesthetic as well as vitamins, minerals and amino proteins that all share in skin regeneration. With the sophistication of the injection techniques over the last decade most people will experience only minimal discomfort.


Plasma Rich Protein For Wrinkles And Skin Folds

A-PRP can be injected into wrinkles but it is different from synthetic volume as the concept is not to fill the wrinkles but to stimulate the fibroblasts which produce new collagens and all the components of the extra cellular matrix. Those most commonly known are elastin, hyaluronic acids, glycoproteins and other fibroblast stimulants that all share the responsibility of skin regeneration. PRP can be injected into deep wrinkles and folds at the same time a patient is attending for volume replacement of the face, hands, neck, décolleté, allowing for an accelerated synergistic effect on the tissue area. These release growth factors over time at the precise area and will create permanent change while the natural filler creates a more pleasing aesthetic affect for the duration until the PRP effect starts to take over.


Fine Wrinkles, Skin And Hair

Injections either with single needles or multi-injector units place platelet rich plasma into the dermis support structure and accelerates and increases the tissue regeneration process. PRP can be injected locally into the face, forehead, neck, décolleté as well as the hands and the scalp.


Post Laser And Hydration

A-PRP stimulates the patients cells to regenerate the skins connective tissue resulting in faster healing of post laser and chemical peel procedures. It improves the elasticity, tone and thickness of the skin and contributes to remodeling collagen fibers. It helps reduce pain in the skin and allows the skin to feel cool and fresh. The risk with certain lasers with hyperpigmentation can be significant and the use of PRP reduces the inflammatory pigmentation reaction particularly after C0₂ lasers. In the situation of using it in conjunction with lasers, the plasma is applied directly and generously to the treatment area.

Acne Scars And Keloid Scars

There have been excellent results with the use of A-PRP into the periphery and scar matrix, by using superficial controlled injection depths as well as deep injections into the living dermis layer. Injecting into scars can be quite sensitive and this can be controlled by putting local anesthetic into the plasma. PRP can be used along with fractional lasers. These were designed in the early 2000’s for rebuilding tissue by microscopic mechanical destruction of cell columns stimulating the natural healing mechanisms in a different way than PRP, but again achieving permanent results. Scars are treated monthly until there has been complete replacement by healthy tissue.

Stretch marks and darkened stretch marks have been a particularly difficult scar phenomenon to improve. Fractional lasers also do a respectable job on stretch mark recovery. With the current use of PRP in the scar regeneration process as well, the results are remarkable.


How Long Does PRP Last?

This can be considered a permanent fix. PRP was first used in the 1980’s in cardiac surgery followed in the late ‘90’s in bone reconstruction. Subsequently it moved into treating musculoskeletal injuries particularly of high performance athletes such as Tiger Woods (golfing), Kobe Bryant (basketball) and Hines Wood (football), Rafael Nadal (tennis), Alex Rodriguez (baseball), Maria Sharapova (tennis), as well as many celebrities. It remained an extremely expensive procedure until more common usage and standardization of the materials required, for providing the procedure, became more generally available. The components in PRP begin to work immediately and tissue regeneration continues over weeks to months. The Vampire Facelift® is a patented procedure trademarked by an Alabama doctor, Charles Runels. He subsequently developed the Vampire Facial® as well as the protocols for hair restoration and treatments for sexual dysfunction for males and females (the “O” shot and the “P” shot). The Vampire Facelift® is a combination of PRP, filler and micro-needling. The Vampire Facial® is a combination of micro-needling and PRP.



PRP treatments alone or in combination with lasers and volume replacement have taken reversing the effects of aging to a permanent level that as applications for many areas of the body and is within the financial reach of the general population. By increasing the numbers of collagen fibres in skin there is an overall improvement in texture and elasticity, reversing sagging, crinkled skin. In hair loss management, PRP decreases hair loss to a normal level and increases the volume of the hair shaft, stimulates hairs to regenerate and increases the strength of the hair follicle.


Laser and Skin Care Medspa is looking forward to offering this treatment in the near future. Please call 403 347 8050 for more information.

What’s The Hype About Collagen

Collagen is a hot topic in the world of beauty and wellness at the moment. It’s in many kinds of products from lipsticks, gummy bears, lattes and facial serums. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is a major building block of muscles, skin tendons, ligaments and bones. It’s considered the glue that holds the body together. Focusing on its role in the skin, it provides strength, elasticity and volume. It is abundant in children and youth till the early twenties. 

It has a role in supporting cell turnover no matter what the age, naturally.


What happens as we age?


Aging equals collagen levels depleting at approximately 1% per year starting in the early 20s. The timing is also influenced by genetics. Fine lines and slight sagging start subtly and then alarmingly by the 30s and 40s. Skin cells are dividing at a slower rate causing the top layer of the skin (epidermis) to lose moisture and become thinner. Lifestyle factors play a major influence in this natural aging process. Exposure to UV rays from natural sunlight and tanning beds, smoking. pollution and a stressful lifestyle that contribute to elevations of hormones in the body, increase the rapidity of collagen depletion. Refined sugar and white carbs also increase the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin. Unfortunately it is difficult to find any product in a grocery store that doesn’t have some element of sugar. Fruit sugars are not handled by the body in the same way and it does not mean that fruits should be avoided as long as they are eaten in moderation.


Tips for improving and protecting collagen:


  1. Healthy Sunscreen

The sun is no longer the same that your mother and grandmother grew up being exposed to. It is the ultimate ager, it accelerates the breakdown of collagen fibers allowing the skin to wrinkle.

Physical blockers such as titanium and zinc blends or zinc alone are by far the healthiest and preferred. Chemical blockers have been available for decades and several chemicals or implicated in carcinogenic acceleration of skin cells. It is best to avoid over the counter combos and use a pure physical blocker that is available at medical spas.


  1. Retinol and Retinoids

It has become evident through several decades of investigation and increased availability how vital it should be in general skin management. It has been proven to be instrumental in stimulating collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin. Retinols increase cell turnover thereby improving skin tone, texture, decreasing pore size and refining chronic scarring as seen  with burnt out acne. They also are valuable in management of acute acne, particularly the cystic variety. Retinols are best applied at night to avoid increased Sun sensitivity.


  1. Peptide Creams

These again have become more sophisticated and available in the last 10 years. Creams and serums are known to stimulate collagen and elastin in the skin improving tone and density of the tissue. These are available in over the counter products but more concentrated and effective when obtained through a medical spa.


  1. Adding Hydration

Critical in dry and seasonally cold climates, when the skin loses moisture, collagen can’t repair itself. The body requires vitamin C which is a water soluble vitamin. Therefore, if you are dehydrated, the vitamin C cannot be transported to stimulate collagen production. With the refinement in skin care, over the last 15 to 20 years in particular, the last 10 have produced many products that have 10 – 20% vitamin c either as concentrated serums or blended with other vitamins, peptides and antioxidants.

Vitamin C in a diet helps but it’s far more effective being applied directly onto the skin. Vitamin C protects against free radical damage to the skin which accelerates collagen breakdown.  There are many healthy choices in daily moisturizers that contain vitamin C and other antioxidants.


  1. Healthy Eating and Plumper Skin

It’s a good idea to eat vitamin C rich foods such as citrus, berries, bell peppers and broccoli. Other food sources that are rich in collagen include fish, animal bone broths, egg whites and muscle meat. The connective tissue is riddled with collagen. For vegan or vegetarians, your best foods are tofu, lentils, chia seeds and quinoa to supply all the necessary amino acids for collagen production. Overall the general message is: eat more whole grains and avoid/reduce the intake of free sugars and carbs as they prevent collagen from repairing 


  1. Medical Spa Treatments

Technology has significantly advanced in the last 20 years. More and more research and data has supported the development of topical and resurfacing lasers. Some search out a reputable spa and look into special facials and lasers that stimulate the collagen and fibrinogen to rebuild the face. Energy based devices using radio frequency and ultrasound have also raised the bar in anti-aging procedures. Fractional lasers as a general category, have many quality systems for this technology. Laser and Skin Care Medspa has the Cynosure multi-deck system.

Advancements in injecting platelet-rich plasma (microneedling), known as PRP, have further refined the process of rebuilding.


  1. Blogs to visit

a) The confusing story of sunscreens and sunblocks

b) Understanding sunscreen labeling

c) PRP



What is it?

Dermaplaning is a double duty treatment. 

This popular skin care procedure gets smooth skin fast! The skin is manually exfoliated removing the fine peach fuzz vellus hairs and layers of dead skin on the surface using a special medical scalpel.

It is important to understand that this is not shaving.

The procedure improves the absorption of products and can be used as a prep for lasers and peels/masks. The intent is to improve the skin condition not just removing hair. It is safe for all skin types but not for those with active facial acne, severe acne scarring, active skin infections, rosacea flare-ups or eczema.

It’s a good option for pregnant women and those sensitive to certain chemicals used in some facials.


 Is it safe? / What are the side effects?


There are many self-do gizmos on the market! They are not the same thing, therefore cannot give you an effective or lasting result.

It goes without saying that any procedure involving a medical grade special surgical blade is not for trying at home or to have your BF perform.

Electrolysis or plucking hair with a tool is becoming less available and for good reason. The trauma to the tissue, increased  pigmentation, and potential hair thickening along with visible scarring are all reasons it has joined the dust bin of old technology.

Dermaplaning is a professional certified aesthetic procedure requiring a trained skill set.

There is always the potential for superficially nicking the skin. Side effects post treatment are minimized with the use of high quality procedure products and recommended hydrators.

It is important to advise the clinic / aesthetician if you are prone to cold sores. Like any stimulating / irritating procedure this virus can be activated. At your consult visit, the doctor can give you a prescription for an antiviral to prevent an outbreak, if this is of concern.


Does the facial hair grow back in thicker?


Unlike electrolysis or plucking dermaplaning will not change the color or thickness of the hair.

This is a common misconception. The hair is cut off at the surface and does not create damage to the follicle structure.


 What if peach fuzz is my main concern?


Minus the benefits of exfoliation and skin rejuvenation there is a product in a topical cream prescription that can be applied daily to the face for several months. Vaniqua interferes with the reproductive cycle of hair growth so over time the emergence slows down. Unfortunately there is no laser that works on colorless hair. If you are interested in a longer-term product that is not dermaplaning please discuss it with the doctor or esthetician. A prescription can be written for you.


 What should I do before the procedure – the prep?


  1. The skin should be free of any cuts or blemishes.
  2. Avoid the use of exfoliants, toners mechanical cleansing cloths, and products containing retinols and glycolic acids for 48 hours prior.
  3. Think about sun protection so to avoid even mild sunburn.

The aesthetician can recommend medical grade healthy physical blockers, not chemical blockers such as SkinMedica, Zo Skin Health and Jane Iredale


Post treatment care

  1. Over the counter oil by product makeup / powders have to be avoided for 24 hours after the procedure. Jane Iredale and Glo skincare are exceptions. These skin care lines are truly water-based, mineral, organic and antibacterial that can be worn immediately. They are recommended and have been part of the plastic surgeons post care for many years because of these properties.
  2. As listed in the prep it is important to avoid any retinol products, any mechanical, chemical irritants and exfoliant products for 2 to 4 days. Esthetician will discuss and recommend a custom postcare protocol for you
  3. Again it’s important to think about sun exposure. The esthetician will check with you if you are on a medical grade sunscreen or recommend one that the clinic carries. Sun protection is now becoming part of today’s world daily life.
  4. Hydrate hydrate hydrate! You may have a high quality product already or we can recommend from our product lines. Some hydrators we recommend are Revoderm MultiVitamin, SkinMedica Ultra Sheer, ProDerm Regenerating Crème

Dermaplaning leaves the skin smoother softer and brighter.


The procedure:

  1. The face is washed with a gentle cleanser and then a facial oil remover is applied and the skin is lightly dried. 
  2. Under light tension the skin is feather stroked with a sterile blade to remove dead skin layers, softening scars and wrinkles and exposing new skin cells.
  3. A warm towel is applied over the face
  4. A hydrator is applied unless a special mask has been recommended.

The treatment is approximately 30 minutes in duration depending on whether the treatment is followed by mask application.

Skin care products can penetrate better and without those fine hairs makeup sits and looks smoother. Maximum benefit lasts approximately 4 weeks.

Laser and Skin Care MedSpa looks forward to offering you this procedure as one more way to give you a method to feel and look your best.