Over the past few years, the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has become increasingly popular for many different types of medical treatments. PRP’s aesthetic applications are fairly new, but it has a long history of being used in orthopedic medicine, dentistry, and reconstructive surgery. It has been a popular treatment for tendon, tissue, and joint injuries because it is rich in platelets and growth factors, which help these injuries heal faster. These same properties are what make PRP injections great for cosmetic procedures, as it stimulates collagen as well as the repair and regeneration of tissue to help diminish the appearance of issues such as sun damage, wrinkles, scars and dark circles under the eyes.

PRP is a becoming a more and more popular option for patients looking for facial rejuvenation because the treatments use the patient’s own blood instead of other substances that are injected into the body. Because the body is unlikely to reject or have a reaction to its own blood, this means that there are virtually no risks or side effects.

What is so special about platelets?

Although blood consists mostly of liquid, which is called plasma, it also contains small solid components such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. Platelets are best known for their important role in clotting blood, but they also contain a number of growth factors that work to stimulate skin renewal, collagen synthesis, tissue regeneration, and cell growth.

PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is plasma that has many more platelets than what is typically found in the blood. The concentration of platelets in PRP can be 5 to 10 times greater, or richer, than usual. This means that the concentration of growth factors is also much greater.

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Microneedling With PRP

Microneedling with PRP helps rejuvenate the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines, hyperpigmentation and some types of scars. For the best results, a series of treatments is recommended, which will promote collagen production, leading to smoother, softer skin and more of an “awake” appearance. It can also help with issues such as hyperpigmentation and broken capillaries.

The process of combining Microneedling on the face with PRP is also sometimes referred to as the “Vampire Facial.” This might sound a little scary, but adding PRP to your microneedling treatment is fairly effortless and painless. Also, it is not really as bloody as seen in some pictures online and within social media (which have most likely been dramatized). The PRP is clear in color, not red, and while some bleeding and/or discomfort can be expected due to the injuries in the skin created by the microneedling, this is usually minimal.

For the best results, a series of three to four treatments separated by 4-6 weeks is typically recommended. The benefits of PRP build over time with each additional treatment, but improvements can be noticeable for some patients after the initial treatment.

The risk of a reaction or allergy with PRP is next to nothing because you are using your own blood. There have not been any significant side effects or long-term complications reported from a PRP facial, but as with any medical procedure, there can be risks involved. If you are considering getting a PRP, or Vampire Facial, be sure that you seek out a qualified and well-trained medical professional.

PRP Facial

A PRP Facial is a very effective treatment where PRP is injected on its own or in combination with microneedling to help rejuvenate the skin and stimulate collagen growth. A topical anesthetic is applied prior to the treatment for maximum comfort.

For a PRP Facial, first, a small amount of your blood is drawn, typically from your arm. The amount of blood drawn is usually somewhere between 2 and 10 teaspoons, depending on the areas being treated. The blood is then put into a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma from the other components of the blood. After a topical anesthetic is applied to minimize any discomfort, the PRP is injected into the areas of the face where you want to lift the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles with multiple injections using a small needle. 

With proper numbing ahead of time this treatment can be fairly effortless and painless. Some bleeding and/or discomfort can be expected due to the multiple injections in the facial tissue, and as with all injections there is a risk of bruising.

A PRP Facial helps rejuvenate the skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines, hyperpigmentation and some types of scars. For the best results, a series of treatments is recommended, which will promote collagen production, leading to smoother, softer skin and more of an “awake” appearance. It can also help improve acne and broken capillaries.

For the best results, a series of four treatments separated by 4-6 weeks is typically recommended. The benefits of PRP build over time with each additional treatment, but improvements can be noticeable for some patients after the initial treatment.

PRP Facelift

PRP injections can also be combined with traditional dermal fillers to enhance and extend their effects. This is often referred to as a PRP facelift or Vampire facelift. This allows the patient to get the benefit of both types of injectables, as the use of dermal fillers with this treatment allows you to see immediate results while the PRP begins to work, and the PRP can help to improve things that fillers cannot, such as skin tone and texture.

The first part of a PRP or Vampire facelift is the injection of traditional dermal fillers, such as Restylane or Juvederm, to restore youthful and natural-looking lift and volume to the face. Each patient will have different needs and areas of concern, which will be discussed in the initial consultation. These results will be immediate, so after the treatment you will already be looking younger and more rejuvenated even before the PRP begins working.

After the dermal fillers have been injected into the desired areas, the blood is drawn and separated to derive the PRP. The PRP is then strategically injected into areas where you want to stimulate new collagen and new fatty tissue to help the smooth the skin, and improve blood circulation to help with skin tone and texture. This part of the treatment will produce these results over time, naturally.

The results from the PRP portion of this treatment appear in multiple waves. Every person is different and may see different results at different times, but there are some basic guidelines for what you can expect:

Within 4 weeks you should notice that there is increased volume in the areas that were injected, and as well as more the lift in your face and neck. As the PRP is beginning to stimulate new collagen production, you should also start seeing the beginning stages of a new youthful glow.

From 1-3 months is the time that you should start to really notice the PRP taking action to stimulate collagen and improve blood circulation with improved skin texture and tone.

3-12 months after your treatment you should continue to see more improvements in your skin’s texture, tone, and tightness. Results usually peak somewhere within this time frame and last up to 2 yrs.

For even better results, any of these treatments can be combined with a PRP facial to help further rejuvenate and improve the skin.

What are the Risks for PRP Injections?

Because PRP is derived from your own blood, there is no risk of a reaction, but some people may experience mild swelling, bruising, itching or discoloration after receiving the injections. These are usually temporary and similar to what some people experience with dermal filler injections.

PRP aesthetic treatments are gaining popularity and have become trendy with names like the Vampire facelift, but they are still medical procedures that should be performed by a trained medical professional. While the risks of using PRP are low, you could still have an undesirable aesthetic result if your injector is not skilled in the process.

PRP Facial Rejuvenation

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