Back in 2013, Kim Kardashian posted a semi-scary and most likely embellished picture of herself on her Instagram feed with a reference to a #VampireFacial and created some interest in what is better known as PRP therapy. Even though the underlying therapy itself hailed from the early seventies Ms. Kardashian made many aware of its cosmetic uses.
Today we are going to talk about PRP therapy and what benefits you can expect from combining microneedling with PRP therapy.
What Is PRP Therapy?
Hematologists began using the phrase “platelet-rich plasma” in the early 1970s to describe blood that contained a higher concentration of platelets. Normal blood is made up of about 6% platelets, but when blood is processed into PRP, the concentration of platelets increases to about 94%.
PRP is derived from a patient’s own blood, and the exact type of equipment used for the process will vary depending on the end use of the PRP. Generally, the blood is put into a centrifuge and processed until it separates into different layers and only the platelet-rich plasma is retained.
This PRP was typically used for blood transfusions early on, but by the late 1980s and 1990s, it was found helpful to help speed up patient healing after surgery to help with accelerated wound healing.
In 2009, the FDA approved two processes for the preparation of PRP, and the therapy began being utilized in many different capacities for both medical and cosmetic uses.
What Are The Cosmetic Benefits Of Microneedling With PRP?
Traditional microneedling helps improve the skin on the surface as well as deep within the layers. It is effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, acne scarring, burns, large pores, stretch marks, surgical scars, and more.
Since PRP is derived from the patient’s blood, there is no chance of rejection of the therapy or an allergic reaction. The PRP promotes repair at the site where it is injected or introduced and therefore promotes the production of new collagen and elastin. This helps to repair underlying issues of the skin and can eliminate the look of crepey skin, improve laxity, and result in fewer noticeable wrinkles and lines while also delivering a smoother texture.
PRP can be injected into targeted areas under the skin or used as an overall facial treatment when combined with a procedure such as microneedling. One of the major benefits is that it can be safely used even in the most delicate spots, such as the under-eye area.
How Does Microneedling With PRP Therapy Work?
Microneedling is a procedure that has been in a continuous state of upgrade and development since it was first attempted in 1995. The process of microneedling creates tiny injuries in the treatment area that cause the body to kick into its healing mode to repair itself. The body’s way of healing these areas is to create new collagen and elastin under the surface of the skin, which ultimately benefits the outward appearance of the skin.
There are different techniques used for microneedling, and many can be adjusted for depth and intended purpose. Generally, the procedure begins with a topical anesthetic being applied to the skin’s surface to numb it and prevent any feelings of pain. Next, a handheld device that contains several microneedles is applied or rolled over the skin’s surface, creating several microinjuries along the top few layers of the skin. Often, different types of serums, such as hyaluronic acid, peptide gel, or PRP, are introduced deep into the skin’s layers during the microneedling procedure.
How Is The PRP Prepared For Microneedling Use?
PRP is created using blood that is drawn from you just before your microneedling procedure begins. This blood is put into a special centrifuge and spun until the PRP, also sometimes called “liquid gold,” separates from the red and white blood cells. This PRP is extracted and used as a serum during your microneedling procedure. It is applied to the skin, and that area is immediately treated with the microneedles. This pushes the PRP serum deep into the skin’s layers.
When you combine microneedling with PRP therapy, you are getting the best of both worlds. You receive a higher level of healing and repair than if you just use microneedling alone. The addition of the PRP also produces more of what is often called “a healthy glow,” which creates a more youthful look and also serves to better even out the pigmentation of the skin. This is especially helpful in reducing age spots or reversing the appearance of sun damage.
What Is The Recovery After Microneedling With PRP?
- Procedure Day
The day of the procedure, as the numbing cream wears off, you will feel a bit like you have a sunburn. a sort of mild stinging and tightness across the face or neck, depending on the areas that were treated. Your face will also appear a deep pink or even red as if you had received a sunburn, but this will eventually fade. You will be instructed to keep your face hydrated with a mild moisturizer that does not contain any type of hyaluronic acid or other ingredients that could further irritate the skin. You will want to avoid these types of moisturizers for the first four days after microneedling.
While you will most likely leave your procedure with a red face, this is not because they used red blood cells on your face; this is not how the procedure is performed. This is why it is believed that the picture of Kim Kardashian’s face on Instagram was embellished. Here is the picture from Instagram:
- Day After The Procedure – Day 2
- Your skin should not be as red as it was the day of the procedure, but it will still feel tight as if you had a bad sunburn. You may also notice little scabs on your face. You can splash it off with cool water and a very mild cleanser, but it is most important to keep the skin moisturized and to stay out of the sun.
- Day 3
- You may notice that most of the scabs are disappearing, and you may also notice that you are starting to shed skin. There is not really anything special you need to do except keep your face hydrated and continue to avoid the sun.
- Day 5
- Your face should almost be done flaking, and you may be starting to notice a more refreshed look and plumper skin. If you had your under-eye area treated, you may notice a marked improvement in the discoloration or dark under-eye circles you had previously. If you desire, you may begin to use moisturizers that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.
- Day 10
- Your skin should look fresh, hydrated, and more luminous. It is important to continue to avoid the sun, as your top layer of skin is new and tender and would be prone to discoloration. You can see a large improvement in your skin, but under the surface, the microneedling repairs are taking place more gradually. Your body is creating new collagen and elastin, and your skin will continue to improve for the next several months.
Tips for Optimal Results After Microneedling With PRP
- Avoid sun exposure as much as humanly possible. Use sunscreen and reapply often;
- Wear hats, visors, sunglasses, or anything you can to avoid any type of sunlight;
- Continue to moisturize your face as much as possible;
- Use a very mild facial wash to clean your face;
- Avoid any type of moisturizer or toner that contains any type of acidic ingredient for at least 4 entire days following your procedure.
Depending on the type of cosmetic concern you are addressing, you may require more than one treatment to obtain your desired results. For instance, a patient who would like to lessen the appearance of acne scars normally needs somewhere between four and six treatments spaced no less than one month apart to achieve the outcome they want.
The skincare products that you can obtain over the counter can only do so much. For those individuals with texture issues, noticeable signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, or scarring, microneedling with PRP may be right for you. It is generally safe for all skin types and will improve the tone, surface, and overall appearance of your skin.
Where Can I Get Microneedling and PRP Treatments?
You must find a qualified professional to perform your therapy. This is not a DIY project or something you want to trust someone just learning. Expert training is required on microneedling techniques to ensure your skin is not damaged.
Dr. Angelia Postoev, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon with SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics, performs microneedling with PRP therapy in the Buckhead, Atlanta, Duluth, Loganville, and surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia. Contact us today to set up a consultation to learn more about how this treatment can benefit your skin.