What is Platelet Rich Plasma treatment (AKA “Vampire Facelift”)?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment uses your own blood plasma to rejuvenate your skin. PRP is an ideal, non-invasive treatment because PRP therapy is autologous -- meaning it comes from your own body. The treatment uses plasma that has been enriched with platelets – blood cells whose function is to stop bleeding, promote faster healing with less swelling and bruising.
Why is PRP sometimes known as a “vampire facelift”?
PRP is much less invasive than plastic surgery and is not a surgical facelift in the true sense of the word. However, it is popularly known to some as the “vampire facelift” because the process involves drawing your own blood.
PRP treatments are commonly used for the treatment of:
- Wrinkles, fine lines, or scars on the face, neck and hands
- Crepey or ‘sagging’ skin due to natural ageing
- Crow’s feet or dark circles around the eyes
- Dull, rough, or sallow skin tone and texture
- Sun damaged skin or sun spots
- Acne scarring
How does PRP work to rejuvenate the skin?
Platelet Rich Plasma works by harnessing your own biological nutrient-rich cells to stimulate the regeneration of the underlying structural integrity of your skin. Growth factors in PRP work to stimulate the release of the skin’s own stem cells encouraging the skin to create new blood vessels, new collagen, and new skin cells.
What is the process? How long does the PRP treatment take?
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy takes about 60-90 minutes including preparation and recovery time. The treatment is performed without the use of general anesthesia, invasive surgery, or need for a hospital stay.
The first part of the treatment is to cleanse and prepare the area to be treated. Next, a small amount of blood will be drawn from your arm (about the same amount drawn during a standard blood test).
The blood is then placed in a centrifuge for approximately 5 minutes -- a device that separates the nutrient-rich platelets from the rest of your blood. The resulting plasma will then be applied to your skin. The separated platelet rich plasma is then activated with calcium chloride to release growth factors that will increase collagen production and catalyze other healing effects.
If necessary, your provider will apply a topical numbing cream to ensure minimal discomfort during your treatment.
PRP treatment and microneedling -- a powerful combination!
Ideally, we recommend using a combination of PRP and microneedling.This is because the microneedling gives the skin an added stimulus to boost collagen production along with the use of the nutrient-rich platelets -- making for a powerful combination. Read more about microneedling here.
How long is recovery time from a PRP treatment?
Recovery time varies with the individual, but it can take 2-3 days to return to social activities, with optimal results being evident within 4-6 weeks. Typically, you should avoid wearing makeup for a few days after the procedure. Your skin will be regenerating new skin cell growth so it will need extra protection from sun. You are advised to avoid sun exposure for at least one month after treatment -- even in winter or in a cold climate. It is best to wear a broad-spectrum sunblock with a minimum SPF of 30. Optimally the primary active ingredients should include zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
Jennifer Fick, your aesthetic nurse practitioner, will recommend an aftercare program that includes recommended sun protection products and skincare tips.