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What is the Difference Between PRP and PRF?

For years, platelet-rich plasma (or PRP) has been used to help rejuvenate skin, improve hair growth, and even treat orthopedic injuries. Today, there’s a second similar treatment called PRF (or platelet-rich fibrin) — but even though the treatment names sound similar and they're used in a similar manner, PRF differs from PRP in some key ways.

At IVY Infusions, Sasha Beatty, MSN, FNP-C, offers both PRP and PRF treatments, enabling her patients to get the most appropriate option based on their needs. Here’s how these two state-of-the-art treatments are used — and how they differ.

PRP vs. PRF: Similar, but different

Both PRP and PRF contain special proteins called growth factors. When PRP or PRF is injected into a damaged area, those growth factors go to work repairing and replacing damaged tissue. At IVY Infusions, PRP and PRF are used to treat an array of aesthetic concerns, like:

However, even though PRP and PRF may be used similarly, the way they work and how they’re prepared differ a bit. Those differences can help determine which treatment is better for you, based on the issue you’re having treated and other factors.

PRP and PRF are both derived from your own blood — just a small sample taken at the start of your treatment. Special processing techniques are used to separate the components of your blood — things like platelets, fibrin, plasma (the liquid part of blood), and red and white blood cells. 

Key differences between PRP and PRF

Both platelets and fibrin are involved in your body’s natural healing processes, and PRP and PRF both contain higher-than-normal numbers of platelets for enhanced healing action. But there are some important differences between the two products, beginning with how they’re processed

#1: PRP is processed at a higher speed

In order to make both PRP and PRF, your blood sample is spun at a high speed, allowing heavier components of your blood to sink to the bottom of the container, while lighter platelets and plasma stay at the top. This process makes it easier to extract only the platelets and plasma — or PRP.

PRF is processed at a slower speed. As a result, the finished product still retains some white blood cells, stem cells, and of course, fibrin. That means there are more carrying healing factors in PRF — specifically, factors associated with platelets, fibrin, and stem cells. The slower speed also has the potential to cause less damage to individual cells, which is especially important when harvesting stem cells for healing.

#2: PRF typically has a higher platelet count

This might surprise you, given the two products’ names. But because PRP is spun more quickly, many of the platelets can wind up being left out of the final product. The number of platelets will still be higher than what’s normally found in your blood — generally from 3-5 times higher

However, the slower speed associated with PRF production may allow even more platelets to remain in the final solution. That means it can be an even richer source of platelets

#3: Release times are different

PRP production uses an anticoagulant to prevent your blood sample from clotting while it’s processed. In PRF production, fibrin (a component of clots) is allowed to form. The final PRF product forms a sort of scaffold or matrix that enables platelets to be released more slowly once they’re injected. 

In fact, this is one of the biggest differences in terms of how each product is used: PRP releases more platelets and growth factors more quickly, while PRF releases platelets and growth factors more slowly after injection.

Custom treatment based on your goals

By offering both PRP and PRF, IVY Infusions is able to provide every patient with the most appropriate options to help them achieve their unique goals. If you’d like to learn more about these state-of-the-art treatments and how they can help you, call our Greenwich, Connecticut, office or book an appointment online today. We offer virtual consultations, too!

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