As we see when we suffer a cut or fall, the body has a great capacity to heal itself. When we’re injured, platelets in the blood are activated and aggregate together, releasing granules as they do so. These granules, in turn, release growth factors, and it’s these growth factors that stimulate the inflammatory cascade and healing process.
Whilst medical specialists have been able to harness this capacity in the form of Factor 4 injections for some time – using them to promote healing in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, osteoarthritis and sporting injuries, for example – it’s only relatively recently that professionals have started to explore the many benefits of Factor 4 in aesthetic medicine.
Over the past 10 years, the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma in cosmetic medicine has been widely documented in scientific literature. As a result, today more and more people are turning to it for facial rejuvenation, attracted by the possibility of drawing on their body’s own, natural resources.
The natural healing power of the body is captured with Factor 4, a treatment that seeks to restore lost volume and rejuvenate the skin in all layers using the patient’s own platelet cells. As we age, a depletion in collagen, elastin and blood supply occurs and is represented in the formation of deep lines, wrinkles and dehydrated skin. Factor 4 therapy uses the patient’s own cells to refresh the complexion, providing overall rejuvenation by repairing the quality of the skin and restoring plumpness to fine lines, scarring and crêpey skin.
Factor 4 treatments work on all three layers of the skin – the epidermal, dermal and subdermal layers – so the face not only appears fresh and more youthful looking but is also improved in its skin quality and texture. This is especially apparent in those who have had Factor 4 injections underneath the eyes and around the neck area, two areas which are hard to correct non-surgically and respond well to Factor 4 therapy.
Platelet Rich Plasma – Factor 4 is used to describe blood plasma with a high concentration of platelets. Platelets are components of blood that are integral in blood clotting and tissue repair. These concentrated platelets contain special proteins that are not only pivotal in the repair and regeneration of tissues but also in initiating new blood vessel formation and connective tissue repair. This stimulates new collagen and natural product (term forbidden by TGA) production, improving skin health and creating a more vibrant appearance.
Factor 4 therapy is suitable for use anywhere on the face and is particularly suited to treat areas usually difficult to treat such as under the eye area and on the neck and decolletage.
As well as being used as a primary procedure to tighten the skin and address fine lines, Factor 4 can be used to complement other facial rejuvenation procedures such as laser resurfacing, dermal fillers or anti-wrinkle injections. Factor 4 injections are also known to stimulate fibroblasts, which can be useful when preparing the skin for surgery, as well as after surgery to facilitate healing and reduce scars.
Treatment typically lasts about 40 minutes and involves taking two small tubes (about 8 to 16ml) of blood from the patient. The blood is first centrifuged to concentrate and separate the plasma and cells.
The concentrated plasma is then injected into the target area in small amounts using a very thin needle, so the process involves minimal discomfort. Numbing cream can also be used to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
There may be some swelling and bruising at the injection points after the procedure but this generally subsides overnight.
It takes about two to three months for overall results to become clearly visible but improvement in skin texture, tone and hydration is usually visible within a few weeks. Additional treatments, spaced several weeks apart, may be recommended for the best result. After the recommended two to three sessions, a yearly treatment is recommended.
Factor 4 therapy is achieving great things in aesthetic medicine, most notably a younger-looking and luminous complexion. It provides gradual, natural-looking results for patients who want the complete package.