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Our skin concerns are bound to pile up over time.
Age-related skin issues like fine lines and wrinkles, along with problems like acne scars, can accumulate over the years, and there may even come a point when topical treatments are no longer enough to treat them.
Additionally, while enjoying the sun outdoors can make us feel better, it can also cause long-term damage to our skin in the form of hyperpigmentation.
If you can relate to one or more of these skin concerns, then it may be time for you to consider microneedling with PRP.
In this article, we’ll tackle how this treatment works and how it can deliver smoother and youthful-looking skin after just a few sessions.
What Is Microneedling With PRP?
Microneedling with platelet-rich plasma combines two procedures: microneedling and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment.
In this case, the latter serves as an add-on that greatly complements regular microneedling.
Let’s take a closer look at how the two procedures work individually and together.
What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure.
In microneedling sessions, dermatologists utilize an FDA-approved derma roller or a derma pen tool with sterilized, single-use tiny needles for this procedure.
They will use these tools to make microinjuries on the surface of your skin.
The creation of these controlled injuries activates the skin’s healing process, which involves the increased production of collagen and elastin in the treated area/s.
Collagen and elastin are proteins found in connective tissues in major organs like the skin. Collagen provides structure and strength to the skin, while elastin helps maintain the skin’s elasticity.
So by promoting the increased production of these two proteins, microneedling can offer a range of benefits for the skin, including making it look and feel smoother, younger, and more supple.
The needles used in microneedling can vary in length depending on your treatment goals.
The shortest needles — about 0.13 mm. in length — are primarily used to help topical skincare products and treatments penetrate the skin better.
Longer needles — typically 0.5 mm. to 1.5 mm. in length — are specifically used for boosting collagen production.
What Is PRP?
With the words “platelet” and “plasma” in the name, you have probably already guessed that the platelet-rich plasma treatment involves using blood.
And you’re right. This is why it’s also commonly known as a “vampire facial,” although the actual process is not as scary as it sounds.
During this treatment, your treatment provider will draw a small amount of your blood, which will then be placed in a centrifuge.
Centrifugation separates plasma and platelets from other components, such as red and white blood cells.
This process produces the platelet-rich plasma or PRP. In a PRP treatment without microneedling, the PRP is injected into the skin after centrifugation.
What makes PRP treatments a game changer in skin enhancement is that it uses platelets to deliver benefits.
Platelets contain growth factors that facilitate the skin’s healing process, stimulating cell reproduction, regenerating damaged tissue, and producing new collagen.
What Is PRP in Microneedling?
But in a session that involves microneedling with PRP, an aesthetician or dermatologist will begin by using a microneedling device to create tiny injuries or holes in your skin.
After this, the dermatologist or aesthetician will massage the PRP into your face or a particular area of your body, allowing it to penetrate deep into the skin via the holes created by microneedling.
Why is microneedling with plasma rich in platelets done?
It’s because the combination of the two offers more benefits by promoting faster healing and boosting collagen production, resulting in tighter, smoother, and younger-looking skin.
Read on as we look deeper into the advantages of microneedling with PRP.
Benefits of Microneedling With PRP: Why It’s Worth Considering
Microneedling with PRP has gained popularity over the years because the benefits you’re not getting from your everyday skincare regimen may be achieved through this treatment.
Here are some of the advantages it has to offer:
Minimizes the Appearance of Scars
The biggest claim to fame of microneedling with PRP is how it works like magic on scars, particularly acne scars.
By making tiny, controlled facial injuries with needles, microneedling activates the skin’s healing mechanisms and encourages it to produce more collagen and elastin.
And with the addition of PRP — which helps boost collagen production even more, repair damaged tissue, and facilitate cell renewal and regeneration — the scars are reduced and made less visible.
This is why getting microneedling with PRP for acne scars is recommended by experts.
There are also clinical trials where the procedure demonstrated amazing results.
In one study, experts found that microneedling with PRP on acne scars produced significant before-and-after changes, and this was after only three sessions with a one-month interval between treatments.
Another study compared the effects of microneedling alone and microneedling with PRP on reducing acne scarring and discovered that the latter was more effective.
In other words, PRP enhances the effectiveness of microneedling in treating acne scars.
It’s also worth noting that microneedling with PRP can be done in other areas of the body besides the face. So the treatment can also work to make surgical scars, stretch marks, and other blemishes less visible.
Promotes Younger-Looking Skin
As soon as we turn 20, our skin starts producing less and less collagen every year, affecting its elasticity and ability to retain hydration.
This makes common signs of skin aging, like fine lines and wrinkles, more visible.
The good news is microneedling with PRP can help minimize the appearance of wrinkles and allow you to achieve younger-looking skin.
The tiny pinpricks of microneedling encourage the skin’s self-reparative mechanism called dermal remodeling, which stimulates collagen and elastin production.
Likewise, PRP helps the body produce more collagen to improve the skin’s elasticity and plump up the skin, smoothing out lines on the face.
Wrinkles and fine lines typically appear around the mouth, eyes, and neck. If these are your primary areas of concern, don’t worry because the procedure can definitely be done on them.
It’s also safe to get microneedling with PRP for the under-eye area, although your dermatologist may have to use shorter needles for microneedling as the skin in that area is more delicate.
Improves Uneven Skin Tone
Sun exposure is one of the myriad factors that can trigger melanin overproduction in certain areas of the body. This leads to uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.
Some hyperpigmentation issues can be addressed with chemical peels, which help remove the top layer of the skin with extra melanin.
However, this treatment may not be enough if the overproduced melanin resides in the deeper layers of the skin.
This is where microneedling with PRP becomes a great option.
Longer needles in certain microneedling tools have enough length to reach the dermis, allowing them to break up clusters of excess melanin that cause hyperpigmentation.
Meanwhile, PRP aids in the repair of damaged and pigmented skin, boosting the effects of microneedling.
So microneedling with PRP is an excellent option to address hyperpigmentation and improve uneven skin tone.
What To Expect From Your Microneedling With PRP Appointment
Each medical spa and dermatology clinic may have specific steps in carrying out the treatment. But in general, the procedure will include these steps.
Before Your Appointment
There are a few basic tips to prepare for microneedling with PRP:
- Schedule a pre-treatment consultation. It’s best to have a pre-treatment consultation for vampire facial newbies.
This will give you a chance to ask questions that concern you about the procedure, and it’s the best time to confirm if you can have the treatment done.
A consultation will allow your dermatologist to assess your skin condition and determine your treatment targets.
This is also the time to ask for the things you need to do or avoid before the microneedling session.
You can also take this as an opportunity to confirm the cost of the procedure.
- Don’t go out without adequate sun protection. In the weeks leading to your appointment, avoid exposure to the sun without any protection to prevent it from damaging your skin before the procedure.
Make sure you’re using enough sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher.
You may also need to skip using tanning products or going to the tanning salon during this period.
- Go bare face. Before going to your appointment, skipping any makeup and moisturizers is best, but you can still cleanse your face before heading to the derm clinic.
- Reserve the entire day for your treatment. It’s also best not to make other plans on the day of your appointment and just go straight home afterward.
After the treatment, you will be advised to avoid sun exposure completely. You must also wait at least 48 hours before applying makeup.
During Your Appointment
Here’s how a session of microneedling with PRP typically goes:
- A topical numbing cream will be applied to your face or the area of skin to be treated. The numbing effect should settle in around 10 minutes.
- Your treatment provider will draw your blood and place it in a centrifuge to get the concentrated platelet-rich plasma.
- The microneedling device will be used on your skin to create tiny holes or injuries.
- The PRP concentration will be massaged into your skin, allowing it to penetrate the tiny pricks created on the skin.
- For best results, your treatment provider may roll the microneedling device over your skin once more so that it can absorb the PRP even better.
- A hydrating serum may be applied at the end of the procedure to soothe the skin.
The duration of microneedling with PRP sessions can vary per client, but the entire process can take around an hour or so.
After Your Appointment
It’s common to experience a bit of skin redness in the next few hours after your treatment, although it’s not bloody red like the photos you saw of your favorite celebrities.
Most microneedling with PRP reviews noted that redness and skin irritation do occur after the treatment, but the level of discomfort isn’t that significant.
These common side effects typically subside within 24 to 48 hours, so microneedling with PRP doesn’t need downtime.
You can also expect stinging sensations to set in after a few hours because that’s when the effect of the numbing cream will completely wear off.
The overall recovery time from microneedling with PRP usually takes a few days to a week.
During this time, you can expect your skin to go through these changes:
- Light flaking and peeling
- Dead skin shedding
- Mild dryness
Don’t worry — these changes are normal. They’re part of the skin’s natural healing process. The important thing is to avoid picking or scratching the treated area.
In a few days to a week after getting the treatment, the astounding microneedling PRP before and after results will be more noticeable.
Light scarring, fine lines, wrinkles, and large pores should be less visible at this point.
Within the same period and with proper aftercare, your skin should feel smoother and more supple than ever!
Microneedling With PRP: Aftercare Tips
There are a few things to keep in mind as your skin rejuvenates after the treatment.
- Avoid sun exposure. You can still go out and do your regular daily activities like school or work, but don’t leave the house without putting on a powerful sunscreen or wearing a mask.
- Use gentle skincare products. You should still regularly cleanse your face to avoid dirt buildup that may cause infections.
Don’t forget to moisturize and choose gentle products for your aftercare routine.
- Pause the use of toners and exfoliants. Remember that your skin is healing for the next few days.
It’s a bit more sensitive than usual, so it may be unable to tolerate toners, especially if it’s not alcohol-free. The same goes for exfoliants and at-home peels.
So skip these products for at least 72 hours after your microneedling treatment or until your skin no longer feels irritated and sensitive.
- Avoid touching your face too much. You might feel the urge to scratch or touch your skin throughout the day due to irritation.
Do your best to avoid touching your face, especially if you haven’t washed your hands yet, because this could be a gateway to infections.
- Protect skin from infection. Avoid swimming for at least 72 hours because germs and bacteria from the water can easily enter your healing skin and cause infection.
Avoid intense workouts and any activity that will make you sweat profusely, which can reopen your pores and allow bacteria to break through your skin.
Microneedling With PRP: How Many Sessions Do You Need?
If you want great results from microneedling with PRP, the good news is there will be visible improvements even after one session, especially for light acne scars, fine lines, and mild hyperpigmentation.
However, one session may not be enough to help you achieve your goals and maximize the treatment’s benefits to the fullest.
Several clinical trials observed that major before-and-after results from PRP with microneedling results only came about after the participants underwent four to six sessions.
The intervals between treatments also varied in these studies, although the most common is one month.
Additionally, those with larger or deeper scars or more serious skin concerns may need more microneedling with PRP sessions than usual for more pronounced improvements.
So it’s best to consult your dermatologist to determine the best approach for your skin concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Microneedling With PRP Cost?
The cost of microneedling with PRP can vary depending on your location, the certification of your treatment provider, and the skin areas that need to be treated.
The price of this treatment can range from $700 to $1,200 per session.
If you plan on getting multiple treatment sessions in a year, the total cost could easily rack up to a few thousand dollars.
It’s also considered a cosmetic procedure, so it will be unlikely for your insurance provider to cover it.
Is Microneedling With PRP Painful?
The treatment is not completely pain-free, but it’s not exactly painful or excruciating either.
The needles used are small, so they won’t cause a lot of pain, but they do lead to a bit of discomfort during and after the procedure. The numbing cream applied at the procedure’s beginning will also help minimize the discomfort.
All in all, how well you can handle the pain of this procedure depends on your pain tolerance level, which varies for every person.
Who Is a Good Candidate for a PRP Facial With Microneedling?
Some of the best candidates for this treatment are people with acne scars that haven’t subsided after trying tons of products.
It can also be an amazing anti-aging regimen for an effective and long-lasting solution to wrinkles, fine lines, dull skin texture, and uneven skin tone.
Who Can Perform PRP Facial Microneedling?
Microneedling, with or without PRP, is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure. So the regulations on who can perform the treatment differ in various states.
Some states have clear-cut policies prohibiting aestheticians from performing any invasive procedure.
In other locations, licensed aestheticians or nurse practitioners may be allowed to do the treatment, provided that a dermatologist or a medical doctor supervises them.
Are There Risks to Microneedling With PRP?
The procedure is generally safe, especially since it uses medical-grade and FDA-approved tools.
As mentioned above, it can cause some minor side effects, but these usually fade within a few days.
However, the treatment may be unsafe or unsuitable for people who scar easily or have any blood-related disorders.
Is PRP Microneedling Worth It? Our Answer Is Yes!
Over the last few years, more modern skin treatments have gained popularity than we can count.
The truth is many of them come at a high cost, and microneedling with PRP certainly leans toward the pricier side.
But from clinical trials to blogs and personal reviews, there are so many compelling before-and-after results that it almost feels like a missed opportunity not to invest in a few microneedling with PRP sessions.
So in terms of its effectiveness, we’d say it’s definitely worth it!
If your skin needs an excellent anti-aging boost and an effective treatment to diminish the appearance of scars and hyperpigmentation, then microneedling with PRP is a wonderful option for you!
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