PRP, or Platelet-Rich Plasma, is a substance obtained from your own blood through a process involving a centrifuge. When blood is spun, it separates into three distinct layers: plasma on top, platelets and blood cells in the middle, and red blood cells at the bottom. PRP comes from the middle portion known as the "serum portion." This substance plays a crucial role in treatments as it supports cell repair and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, both essential for maintaining firm and smooth skin. Importantly, PRP is derived from your own blood sample, not from another individual.
Benefits of a PRP Facial:
PRP facials, while they may sound a bit intense, offer several advantages:
Enhanced Skin Tightness and Smoothness: The application of platelet-rich plasma triggers cell turnover, boosts collagen and elastin production, resulting in a firmer, tighter, and more supple complexion.
Scar Improvement: Microneedling with PRP can stimulate the production of fresher skin cells and aid in healing, visibly improving the appearance of acne scars. Studies suggest that this combination can be more effective than topical vitamin C.
Reduction of Hyperpigmentation and Evening Skin Tone: PRP has demonstrated its ability to decrease melanin production, reducing excess pigmentation and promoting a more even skin tone.
What to Expect During a PRP Facial:
During a PRP facial, a topical numbing cream is applied to your face to ensure comfort. The next step involves drawing around 10 to 15 milliliters of blood from your arm. After that, the blood is centrifuged to separate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from the red blood cells. The core of the facial involves using a specialized microneedling device to create microchannels on the skin's surface. These microchannels serve as pathways for the PRP, which is applied topically. The entire procedure takes approximately 90 minutes.
After the PRP facial, you might experience redness, slight swelling, and potential itching, but it should not be painful. The redness may last for 12 to 24 hours, and peeling could occur for a few days. To maximize the benefits, it's advisable to avoid makeup until the peeling subsides.
Vampire facials are another term for PRP facials, specifically those combined with microneedling. There are different methods to harness the benefits of platelet-rich plasma, including injecting PRP under the skin to stimulate collagen production and rejuvenate the skin. Dermatologists may also combine PRP with other treatments like microdermabrasion or resurfacing lasers to enhance its effects, depending on your skincare goals and the advice of your provider.
Risks of PRP Facials:
PRP treatments carry minimal risks as they use your own blood, which reduces the likelihood of reactions. Possible risks include scarring, sun sensitivity, or skin surface or injection site infections.
PRP treatments are ideal for those with fine lines, wrinkles, significant sun damage, or a desire for a fresher and more even-toned complexion. However, individuals with a history of blood diseases, including clotting or bleeding disorders, should avoid PRP treatments.
The cost of PRP treatments can vary depending on the region, the provider, and the process involved in preparing the platelets. Prices range from $1,000 to $2,000 per session, and multiple sessions may be recommended, increasing the final cost.
Pros and Cons:
The pros of PRP facials include their minimally invasive, non-surgical nature and their ability to enhance overall skin appearance and address specific concerns. The primary con is the cost, as it is a relatively expensive procedure, and results are not guaranteed. Additionally, certain supplements or medications may affect platelet function, so discontinuing them beforehand is crucial. Blood thinners, aspirin, ibuprofen, garlic, turmeric, and arnica are examples of substances that can influence platelets.