A SKIN treatment nicknamed "the vampire treatment" and a favourite with Hollywood A list celebrities is starting to prove popular in Bolton.

The Platelet Rich Plasma treatment, or PRP, is a non-surgical procedure which involves the re-injection of Platelet Rich Plasma taken from the person's own blood. It is then re-injected into areas of the face and neck to treat wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin.

PRP was originally used medically in the treatment of various injuries. but more recently has also become popular as an anti-ageing treatment. It has just started being available at medical laser and skincare specialists, Laserase based on the Royal Bolton Hospital site.

There, clinic manager Julie Kershaw explained: "This exciting procedure uses the regenerative powers of a patient's own blood plasma to reduce lines and wrinkles, leaving the skin younger, healthier and fresher looking."

For several years in America, well-known athletes like golfer Tiger Woods have received PRP for problems ranging from sprained knees to chronic tendon injuries.

Blood is mainly liquid but contains small solid components – red cells, white cells and platelets. Platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood but they also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are also important in the healing of injuries. And it is this principle which has been employed by the medical profession in healing and patient recovery.

From this application, PRP began to become popular with the beauty industry. It has been used by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, causing a surge of popularity for the treatment in the UK.

The procedure involves a medical professional taking a small amount of blood from a person's arm in the same way it's normally taken for a standard blood test. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge machine at high speed until the red and white blood cells have separated.

This process produces a plasma rich with platelets which is then re-injected into the patient's face, neck and décolletage with the rest thrown away.

The platelets release growth factors, triggering surrounding cells to proliferate which in turn stimulates the repair of cells and increases the volume and rejuvenation of the skin. The growth factors induce collagen production and elastin, resulting in new skin cells being formed and so an improvement in skin elasticity.

Bolton nurse Jo Smithers is one of the earliest local fans to try out PRP and is about to begin a course of treatment. "I'm getting to that age — 50 next year – when I'm looking to find ways to keep my skin as youthful and wrinkle-free as possible," she said. "I'm really excited about PRP treatment as it uses natural ingredients produced by your own body."

Added Julie Kershaw: "Basically, PRP treatment works by recreating and stimulating the body's own natural healing process. One of the main benefits of this treatment over other skin rejuvenation treatments is that it is non-invasive and involves no foreign bodies.

"Because the material being injected back into the patient is part of their own blood, there is very little chance of rejection."