Growth Factors: What Are They & What Will They Do For Me?
More than ever before, people are looking for options to improve their appearance in the most natural way possible—and we’re not just talking about organic makeup and paraben-free skin creams. One of the most promising (and scientifically studied) new treatments for everything from healing wounds to reducing wrinkles and enhancing hair growth is a serum derived from your very own blood!
What are Growth Factors?
It may sound freaky and a little fringe, but in recent years, Growth Factors—a component of your blood that’s spun down using a centrifuge and then re-injected into various body parts such joints, tendons, and under the eyes—has become more mainstream. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Angelina Jolie, and Bar Refaeli are all embracing this hot new trend to achieve their glowing complexions; but more importantly, growth factors is gaining the acceptance of medical professionals across a variety of specialities.
Here’s why: Once growth factors are injected, a healing process is activated, which promotes collagen synthesis. This occurs because platelets produce growth factors that speed recovery and enhance the growth of healing cells wherever they’re injected. Because of this process, growth factors have helped countless athletes and weekend warriors recover more quickly from injuries—in some cases, preventing the need for surgery.
This same process can also make you look younger, to the point that platelet-derived growth factors have been given the nicknames “Vampire Lift” and “Vampire Facial” by several doctors. While you won’t get the same instantaneous results with growth factors as you would with a facelift or fillers (like Juvederm or Restylane), the beautifying bonuses are still quite promising. And because it’s made from your own blood, you can’t be allergic.
Intrigued? Here are four things growth factors do to help turn back the clock naturally:
1. Under-Eye Area Improvement
When growth factors are injected under the eyes, it can produce a gradual improvement in the tear trough—the hollow under the eyes. In a recent Japanese study, platelets with growth factors added were injected under the eyes of participants, and the results were amazing. The researchers–and those that read the article– even noted that it looked as if surgery had been performed! Check out the results below so you can see for yourself:
2. Smoothes out Wrinkles
Growth factors can also be applied topically to micro-channels in the skin that are created by microneedling or laser skin resurfacing. This speeds up the healing process and can produce an added benefit, since growth factors in the platelets improve the contour and texture of the skin by thickening the deeper layers.
3. Boosts Hair Growth
There’s some great evidence that growth factors can help treat hair loss in men and women—both alone and when used in conjunction with hair transplants and hairline lowering. Typically, growth factors are injected in very small amounts in areas of the scalp that are thinning or have lost hair. As a result, hair shaft thickness and the number of hair follicles both increase. But while growth factors may be able to “wake up” follicles that are “asleep,” it may not work if the follicle has completely regressed.
4. Promotes Healing
Studies are ongoing to see how growth factors help with facelift and eyelid surgery healing, tissue regeneration, and how it can enhance the results of fat grafting. So far, results are promising; and as interest in this technology increases, we’re sure it will become a component of more and more procedures.
At W Cosmetic Surgery, we’ve been using growth factors in various forms for the past 20 years. We’ve used it to enhance healing after liposculpture, facelifts, and lasers; speed the benefits of microneedling and radiofrequency treatments; and more. In fact, we discuss growth factors and their benefits at almost every new consultation.
Be sure to schedule a consultation with a trusted cosmetic surgeon who has experience doing the procedure you are interested in. Dr.Allan Wulc is a triple certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon with 25+ years of experience and would be pleased to help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Fill out the form below to schedule a personalized consultation or call (610) 828- 8880.