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What is a Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial Treatment? Everything you need to know

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Peck
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Reading Time: 6 minutes
What is PRP Facial

As you add more candles to your birthday cake, you tend to gain a few wrinkles and fine lines on your face along the way.

But what if we told you that you could look a lot younger by simply having a few pinches on your face? 

Everyone wants to look young and beautiful – it’s natural.

Some people opt for natural ways of living and organic remedies to remain fit and delay the aging process, while others are more willing to try out some cosmetics and anti-aging products, such as creams, ointments, or serums.

These items usually contain some sort of chemical ingredient, which is thought to help improve the skin’s appearance and conceal wrinkles but can also cause some repercussions.

On the flip side, there is a new advancement in the beauty industry known as facial injectables. There are several types of this treatment, but the most talked about is the platelet-rich plasma facial, also known as PRP facial. 

Before we dive in deeper, let’s run through a brief overview of what this treatment entails.

What is PRP treatment?

This PRP facial treatment is referred to as a medical procedure rather than a cosmetic one.

The person who performs this procedure is a certified medical practitioner who will take your blood sample and isolate the platelets and protein-rich plasma from your blood to obtain a concentrated sample of PRP.

The process of removing platelets and plasma proteins from the blood is performed through a centrifuge machine. 

This PRP sample contains high amounts of growth factors that help the body cells and wounds to heal.

Dermatologists started using this PRP treatment to promote collagen production.

Orthopedics use this therapy to treat joint pains and inflammations in areas such as the knees, elbows, and ankles, especially in the elderly and athletes.

How does a PRP treatment work?

There are different techniques used to perform a PRP facial.

In the first method, prepared plasma is applied all over your face, then microneedling facials is performed to help your skin absorb all the proteins from its surface.

These tiny sterile needles make little holes in your skin, which, along with PRP, combine to increase collagen production.

The second method is also known as a vampire facial. This method injects the PRP directly underneath your skin, just like fillers.

There is not much evidence to support the effectiveness of this particular method, but one research study shows that the recipient who received PRP on one side of the face and normal saline on another side experienced some improvements on the PRP side. 

What to expect right after the procedure?

Firstly, a strong topical anesthetic is applied to the skin. Then, after about 30 minutes, your medical practitioner will prick your skin with a small MD pen which will make tiny holes in your dermal layer.

This process will trigger the formation of collagen in your skin. Finally, the concentrated PRP will be spread and massaged into your face. 

Right after the procedure, you may experience itchiness, redness, and soreness.

These symptoms will only be present for up to a week after the procedure, after which a clear difference in your skin’s appearance will be present.

Precautions after PRP treatment

For a faster recovery time, you should avoid wearing makeup right after getting this treatment until all the swelling has gone down. You must also avoid excessive exposure to sunlight to keep your skin safe from sunburn.

What are the PRP treatment results?

The plasma-rich protein is an excellent source of stem cells that overhaul your skin naturally by enhancing its elasticity and stimulating collagen production.

After this facial, the skin is rejuvenated and plumped. Fine lines, pigmentation, and wrinkles are greatly decreased, creating a youthful and radiant appearance. 

The main appeal of a PRP facial is that the recipient is injected with their own blood components, and no foreign body or chemical is introduced into the skin.

So, the chances of side effects are almost zero. The result is shiny and radiant skin, with a minimal recovery time of six to 12 weeks.  

Why you should get PRP therapy?

When PRP is obtained from your blood and injected back into your skin, it encourages the production of collagen as well as elastin, leaving your skin looking firmer, fuller, and smoother within a few weeks. Furthermore, it is considered very effective for people with sun damage, blemishes, or wrinkles.

Benefits of PRP facial treatment

  • Increases collagen production/skin rejuvenation: Studies show that PRP treatments stimulate collagen production, elastin, and mRNA in human dermal fibroblasts.

    This process of enhancing collagen production helps remodel the extracellular matrix, which is the most significant component of the dermal skin layer, and the smooth synthesis of ECM leads to soft, plump, and younger-looking skin.
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles: When PRP is injected into your skin, it acts as a matrix to promote the natural production of collagen and elastin.

    So, indirectly, it acts as a fighting mechanism to treat premature aging and makes your skin tight and compact, giving you a youthful appearance. 
  • Treats delicate areas: PRP treatment is very effective for the delicate areas of your skin that are more likely to become wrinkled or pigmented as you age, e.g., around the eyes.

    It is found to be more beneficial than other methods, such as eye creams and eye patches because other treatments just work on the upper layer of skin, but this PRP goes deep down in the inner layers to solve the problem from the root. 
  • Plump and firm skin: PRP is just responsible for enhancing your skin texture and improving its quality.

    The treatment does not in itself increase the volume of your skin much, but the “plumping effect” that recipients experience is actually due to the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles after therapy.
  • Moisture retention: Another great benefit of getting PRP treatment is that it increases the ability of your skin to retain its natural moisture.

    Improper hydration and UV rays from the sun damage your skin directly by thinning the dermal layers and diminishing its capacity for moisture retention.

    Because of the production of ample proteins in your skin after PRP treatment, you can expect plump, hydrated skin to be one of the many benefits.
  • Hyperpigmentation: This is a condition in which the skin becomes uneven and blotchy due to the overproduction of melanin.

    Recent research suggests that this issue can be addressed with micro-needling in combination with PRP treatments.
  • Improves skin texture: PRP treatment promotes new vessel and tissue formation in your skin, allowing for more blood flow and cell reproduction and, as a result, smoother skin.

Some recipients experience dry and flaky skin just after the procedure due to the micro-needling, but this is short-lived, and your skin will bounce back in a few days. 

FAQs

How long do its results last?

The results of a PRP treatment are not permanent. The results become prominent after two to six weeks, depending on your skin type, but you may require additional sessions after some time. For most recipients, youthful and radiant skin results last from six months to one year. After this period, you will need more sessions to maintain results as per your doctor’s advice.

How do you know if it is working?

The results of a PRP facial become visible after a few weeks to a month. This period is dependent on your skin condition. Your doctor will decide on a treatment plan based on the condition of your skin and the results you are hoping for. 

How many sessions do you need?

The number of sessions depends on the skin type and the age of the recipient. Initially, you may have to do this procedure every few weeks. But after that, a maintained schedule is set by a doctor who is common twice a year.  

Is PRP good for me?

One of the most undervalued advantages of the PRP facial is that it holds benefits for almost everybody. You may be a good candidate for this treatment if you have severe acne issues, scars, or rough and uneven skin texture. It also works wonders for persons with sun-damaged skin or hyperpigmentation.

How Much Does PRP Therapy Cost?

At Nepenthe Wellness center, the estimated cost of this treatment is $270 per session. As the procedure is considered cosmetic in nature, medical insurance in the United States currently doesn’t cover this fee.

Does PRP have any major side effects?

This treatment is considered one of the most natural cosmetic procedures as there are no chemicals or cosmetics applied or injected into the skin.

Other beauty treatments like dermal fillers, beauty creams, serums, and ointments can cause several side effects such as acne, scars, or allergies. It is, however, very unlikely that your body will react negatively to PRP, as the active ingredients are extracted from your own blood.

There could not be any possible side effects of the ingredients in the treatment, but to ensure a customized treatment plan, it is recommended to provide the practitioner with a detailed medical history, especially if you suffer from any chronic illnesses.

Sources

Harris-Ray, N. (2022, May 19). What Is a Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/what-is-platelet-rich-plasma-prp-facial#:%7E:text=PRP%20facials%20are%20not%20cosmetic,The%20platelets%20are%20also%20removed

Alam M, Hughart R, Champlain A, Geisler A, Paghdal K, Whiting D, Hammel JA, Maisel A, Rapcan MJ, West DP, Poon E. Effect of Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection for Rejuvenation of Photoaged Facial Skin: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Dermatol. 2018 Dec 1;154(12):1447-1452. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.3977. PMID: 30419125; PMCID: PMC6583756.

Abuaf OK, Yildiz H, Baloglu H, Bilgili ME, Simsek HA, Dogan B. Histologic Evidence of New Collagen Formulation Using Platelet Rich Plasma in Skin Rejuvenation: A Prospective Controlled Clinical Study. Ann Dermatol. 2016 Dec;28(6):718-724. doi: 10.5021/ad.2016.28.6.718. Epub 2016 Nov 23. PMID: 27904271; PMCID: PMC5125953.

Sidransky, E. (n.d.). Fibroblast. Genome.Gov.

Reilly DM, Lozano J. Skin collagen through the lifestages: importance for skin health and beauty. Plast Aesthet Res 2021;8:2. http://dx.doi.org/10.20517/2347-9264.2020.153