If there is any type of cosmetic procedure that’s built a real name for itself over the past years, it has to be the PRP facial. Also known as the infamous ”vampire” facial. While it may look or even sound like an intimidating procedure, PRP facials are actually very low risk, painless, and highly effective. In essence, the procedure uses your own blood and platelet-rich plasma to restore your complexion.
In this blog, we de-mystify the PRP facial and explain why it’s one of the most restorative cosmetic procedures on the market today.
What Exactly Are PRP Facials?
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma which comes from your very own blood. Not only is PRP popular in the use of cosmetic procedures, but it’s also amazingly effective as a treatment for hair loss.
Today, PRP facials are among the most popular skincare treatments in both men and women. During a PRP facial, a physician/dermatologist uses a specialized device to roll over the skin. It creates minuscule pricks in the skin — also called microneedling.
After this, your physician applies platelet-rich plasma to the surface of the skin, via topical treatment. So, a PRP facial involves two key parts: microneedling and the addition of platelet-rich plasma, thereafter.
This mixture of microneedling, plus the introduction of PRP to the skin stimulates the turnover of both collagen and elastin. The end result is a complexion that looks brighter, tighter, and smoother.
How Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Work?
At this point, you might be wondering what this magical substance called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) actually is and how it works to heal the skin.
As mentioned, PRP comes directly from your own blood. It’s placed in a centrifuge which spins your blood so that it separates into three key components. During this separation, a physician/dermatologist extracts blood plasma, which is naturally rich in platelets.
Blood plasma and platelets work together to heal and repair the skin. As you might already know, platelets also assist with blood clotting to prevent excessive bleeding. So the addition of PRP after microneedling can also help to reduce bleeding and swelling.
All in all, platelet-rich plasma is exceptionally beneficial in repairing old tissue damage. As well as promoting new cell turnover, and the production of collagen. All of which helps to keep your skin looking young and plump.
How Does PRP Differ from Regular Microneedling?
So, why should you choose a PRP facial over regular microneedling? Is there really that much of a difference between the two procedures?
In essence, PRP and microneedling are quite similar and both have the same end goal. However, PRP treatment comes as an addition to a microneedling session.
It’s best known to boost healing of the skin after a microneedling procedure, and reduce instances of redness, and swelling. So, in short, if you want to level up your microneedling results and experience less downtime, a PRP facial is a great choice.
Why Choose a PRP Facial?
Yes, microneedling is great for targeting everything from wrinkles to acne scarring, to age spots, and hyperpigmentation. But a PRP facial will only boost the effects of microneedling, while reducing your recovery time. In other words, you could see results from a PRP facial faster than you would from microneedling alone.
A PRP facial is ideal for nearly all types of candidates looking to improve the overall look and feel of their skin. Whether you’re looking to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce scarring, plump the skin, or remove pigmentation spots.
However, there are a few people who might not suit this treatment, such as:
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- If you’ve recently used/using Accutane as a treatment for acne
- You have a skin condition on the face, such as eczema or rosacea
- You tend to bruise or scar easily
- You have active acne and fresh scarring
- You have a health condition, such as hemophilia
When you meet with your physician, they will discuss your full medical history with you to gauge whether you’d be a good candidate for PRP or not.
Preparing For Your PRP Facial
If your physician signs you off for a PRP facial, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind to prepare your skin for the treatment. For example, you’ll need to avoid sun exposure to your face for a few weeks prior to your appointment.
You’ll also need to drink plenty of water in the lead-up to your facial, and make sure you have transport home after your appointment. In some cases, this might not be a necessity though — it just depends on your physician’s office.
Also, make sure you arrive at your appointment with a bare face and clean skin. Avoid wearing anything on the skin, not even moisturizer!
What To Expect During your PRP Facial
It’s worth noting that this procedure is fairly quick and mostly painless compared to many other cosmetic procedures on the market today. There’s no need to fear the concept of microneedling or the device as the needles are minute and leave barely a pin-prick on the skin.
Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment to complete any necessary paperwork. Once that’s complete, you’ll change into a gown and your physician will cleanse your skin, then apply a topical anesthetic.
This anesthetic might take 20-30 minutes to take full effect before the procedure begins. In some cases, you might need to apply the topical anesthetic before you arrive at the office.
During the wait, your physician will draw a syringe of your blood from your arm. It’s then placed inside the centrifuge, separating the blood plasma and platelets.
During the Procedure
As mentioned earlier, a PRP facial includes two key steps. The first portion includes microneedling which takes up to 30 minutes. However, this timeframe might vary depending on the treated area of your face. During microneedling, your physician uses a device called a professional-grade derma-roller.
Once your microneedling session concludes, your physician moves onto the second portion of the treatment. They apply the PRP solution to the treated/microneedled area and allow it to soak into the skin.
After the two-step process, you will receive a soothing balm or serum to reduce skin irritation or redness — although the PRP should help with that, too.
You can then head home after this. If you aren’t comfortable enough to drive yourself, make sure you have organized transport prior to your appointment.
Post-Treatment Care Tips
There is very little downtime associated with a PRP facial. But it’s worth noting that you will most likely experience skin redness and tenderness for quite some time. Especially if you have sensitive skin.
Despite the name ”vampire” facial, you will not walk away from your cosmetic office covered in blood/bleeding! The name is far more dramatic than the actual procedure itself.
Due to the efficacy of the PRP extract, you won’t need to apply any further creams or ointments to the skin post-treatment. Even if it looks very red or inflamed. You must allow the PRP to work its magic.
Here are a few post-treatment realities you might face:
- Red/pink discoloration of the face tends to last 24 hours or so. You might have some skin redness the day after, but this is nothing makeup can’t cover
- There is no real downtime required and you can resume your regular skincare regime about 48 hours after your treatment
- You can wear makeup the following day, but try to keep it as light/minimal as possible so you don’t further irritate the skin
- Your skin might feel sensitive for 1-4 days post-treatment, but this will resolve itself over time
- You might experience some light bruising, especially in more delicate areas around the eyes and lips. However, this is minor and will resolve within a week
- If you develop any scabs on your skin, try not to pick them off. Allow your skin to heal itself and the scabs to come away naturally
- There is a chance that your skin might peel very lightly — try not to pick at the peeling areas, too
Adverse side-effects are rare. But there is a chance you could experience pain, further bleeding, and numbness in certain areas. However, this is not normal and you should contact your physician immediately.
Allergic reactions to instruments, creams, and serums are not commonplace. But if you do begin to experience burning or itching of the skin that doesn’t seem normal, reach out to your physician right away.
Skin Rejuvenation Experts at Your Fingertips
PRP facials offer brilliant value-for-money because of their tangible and long-lasting results. If you’re looking for experts who bridge the gap between conventional and alternative medicine, you’re in the perfect place.
The Center For Health & Wellbeing (CHWB) specializes in an array of services that aim to promote healing. Not only do we offer PRP therapy and microneedling, but family medicine, naturopathic medicine, IV nutritional therapy, and more.
Learn more about us and the services we offer, here.