When the experts in our office do PRP facials, many of our clients have tons of questions before the procedure begins. They’ve heard lots of rumors, facts, myths and sometimes misleading information about these new, skin-rejuvenation facials. The best way to deal with all the misinformation out there is to provide you with the cold facts about PRP (platelet-rich plasma) facials.
It’s always a good idea to educate yourself about any treatment you are considering, learn about its advantages, disadvantages, costs and other pertinent information. Here’s the lowdown on PRP facials:
WHAT ARE PRP FACIALS?
You’ve probably heard of platelet-rich plasma facials, also known as PRP facials. The basic process begins with a technician drawing whole blood and then using a centrifuge to separate out the red cells. The remaining platelet-rich plasma is what’s used in the facial process.
Simply put, a PRP facial uses your own blood’s platelets and plasma on your face. The natural chemicals in your own PRP are slathered onto your face and then micro-needled into the skin during a short procedure. Once the plasma is in, it begins to do its work of rejuvenating your entire face, tightening wrinkled areas, and smoothing the overall look. It’s able to do that because PRP’s essential chemical components stimulate collagen growth.
Some people opt to have just one facial while others undergo a regular series of procedures. The more often you have a PRP facial, the longer the results of each treatment will last, which is about three to six months.
What are the key advantages of PRP facials and why are they so popular?
- They truly transform the look of your skin in positive ways
- There’s no chance for an allergic reaction because the plasma comes from your own body
- Pain and discomfort is minimal and the procedure is short
HOW’s THIS DIFFERENCE FROM REGULAR MICRONEEDLING?
Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that’s primarily used to minimize the signs of aging.
During a standard session, a dermatologist uses a special roller or device with needles to prick the skin and stimulate new collagen production. Because of this, microneedling is also known as collagen induction therapy or percutaneous collagen induction.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), as an injection or topically, can be added to the session for an additional cost. It may improve the healingTrusted Source and decrease the duration of redness and swelling seen after microneedling.
Microneedling with PRP has been shown in some to improve outcomes in those undergoing microneedling for acne scars, but the evidence is currently inconclusive.
Read on to learn more about the benefits, costs, and possible risks of adding PRP to a microneedling treatment.
WHAT’s THIS PROCEDURE USED FOR?
Traditional microneedling is used to treat everything from age spots and wrinkles to scarring and certain forms of hyperpigmentation. PRP may boost these effects and help you achieve your desired results faster.
Although microneedling can be used to treat scars and stretch marks on other areas of the body, most studies with PRP and scars seem to be focused on treatment of the face.
The term vampire facial is typically used to refer to microneedling with PRP used topically, afterward.
Most patients are good candidates for this type of the procedure, with few contraindications to treatment existing.
It may not be the best option for you if you:
- are pregnant
- use or recently used Accutane for acne
- still have active acne resulting in new scarring
- have certain skin conditions, such as facial eczema or rosacea
- scar easily
- have a history of poor wound healing
- have undergone skin radiation in the last 12 months
Your doctor will evaluate your medical history to determine if you’re a good candidate for microneedling with PRP.
WHAT ARE THE KEY ADVANTAGES OF PRP?
Our clients have noticed many benefits from this treatment. Not only does it help the body create new elastin and collagen but it can virtually do away with wrinkles, acne scars, lines, stretch marks, and other types of scars. Plus, a PRP facial can deliver pronounced effects with better skin texture and tone.
PRP facial experts at our clinic use the Dermapen micro-needling device. It enables our team members to perform the entire procedure with minimal pain and in a short period of time. The Dermapen essentially “stamps” the skin with very tiny needles. This unique treatment causes the body’s natural processes to go into effect. Skin begins to produce more collagen and elastin in response to the needling. Simultaneously, the body also responds to the platelet-rich plasma and works with it to create additional collagen and elastin.
Microneedling with PRP is a quick process compared to other cosmetic procedures.
Arrive at your provider’s office at least 15 minutes before your appointment. This will give you time to finish up any last-minute paperwork or payments.
When you’re ready, your nurse or doctor may give you a gown to change into. After cleansing your skin, your doctor will apply a topical anesthetic. This will need to set for at least 30 minutes before microneedling begins.
Some offices may ask you to apply the anesthetic before you come into the office.
The actual procedure involves two steps. The microneedling portion lasts about 30 minutes, depending on the areas treated. During this time your doctor will roll a professional-grade derma roller or FDA-approved device on the desired areas on your face.
A syringe of blood will be drawn, usually from your arm, while your face is numbing. The blood is then put into a centrifuge, which separates the PRP from other components of the blood.
The PRP solution is then massaged into the treatment area, usually after microneedling. The microneedling treatment creates small controlled micropunctures in the skin, allowing for penetration of the PRP.
In the past, PRP has been injected into the skin, but it’s becoming more of a common practice to use it along with microneedling.
Once the procedure is finished, your doctor may apply a serum or balm to help soothe any redness and irritation. You may also have the option to put on makeup to camouflage any temporary side effects.
Unless an adverse reaction occurs, you’re free to go home at this point. Although many people are comfortable enough to drive home, arranging a ride home in advance can help alleviate any uncertainty.
Bruises and inflammation, including swelling and redness, are the most common side effects. They typically appear immediately after the procedure and clear within four to six days.
You’ll also want to avoid sun exposure and harsh skin treatments during this time. It’s important that you don’t rub or pick at your face. Sun protection is also very important.
The good news is that PRP contains your own blood, so there’s little chance of cross-contamination or infection. Rare, but serious, complications include infection and scarring.
If you have a history of herpes simplex, or cold sores, it’s also possible that you may have an outbreak from having this procedure done. Let your provider know if you’ve ever had cold sores.
Using PRP alongside traditional microneedling treatments may improve the scars on your face, but the evidence is still inconclusive.
Although research is inconclusive about its effectiveness in facial rejuvenation, the downsides to adding PRP to microneedling appear to be minimal, aside from cost.
More studies need to be conducted on the utility of PRP and microneedling. It’ll likely take several treatments to see results.
After you finish your course of treatment, you may need to follow up with your doctor for potential maintenance, depending on the indication for your treatment.
If your doctor determines that you need a maintenance session, be prepared to spend the same amount per session as you did for your initial treatment.
Recovery for this procedure is relatively minimal. You can go back to school or work the next day if you wish.
There may still be some redness and other signs of minor irritation, but you’ll want to avoid applying too many products to your skin.
Simply cleanse once a day and moisturize as needed. If desired, follow with a lightweight foundation or powder to minimize redness. Your doctor may also recommend or provide products to help your skin recover.
You’ll want to avoid alcohol-based products and exfoliants during the recovery stage. Proper sun protection is also very important.
Until your skin has completely healed, avoid rigorous activities that might cause excessive sweating and heat production. Examples include running, playing tennis, and heavy workouts.
Sweating may cause additional irritation, and rigorous activities may increase the risk of swelling or bruising. This usually should be avoided for at least 72 hours after your treatment.