Is your skin in need of a little rejuvenation? If you’re looking to brighten a dull complexion, tighten sagging skin or lessen the appearance of scars, wrinkles or sun damage, a relatively new treatment called a PRP facial, popularly known as a vampire facial, could be just the ticket.
What to expect
When you arrive at your appointment, the doctor will draw 1 to 2 ounces of blood by placing a needle in your arm. The needle contains a small amount of anticoagulant to prevent the blood from clotting, so it may sting a little.
The blood is placed in a centrifuge to separate it into various components. The plasma rises to the top, and the lower part of the plasma layer, which is especially rich in platelets, is what is used for the injections.
The number of injections depends on the size of the area treated, but at least a couple of dozen injections with a small needle are typically needed for best results. Don’t worry, topical and injectable anesthetics can be used to minimize any discomfort.
PRP facial downtime
A full course of PRP therapy is three treatment sessions spaced eight weeks apart. Improvement builds over time as collagen production increases. You’ll see the most improvement several weeks after you’ve had all three sessions, but many patients say they can see a difference after just one session.
To maintain optimal results, consider undergoing maintenance treatments every six to 12 months.
The best candidates for PRP therapy
PRP facials work best when the skin still has a fair amount of collagen in it.PRP isn’t very effective once the skin is very thin and has lost elasticity.
Most people can safely undergo PRP treatments. Those who have severe inflammation in the area to be treated from a condition such as eczema or psoriasis should wait until the inflammation is cleared. People with a severe immune system disorder should talk with their doctor before undergoing treatment.
Possible risks and side effects
Because it uses your own plasma, PRP treatment is generally safe and well-tolerated. While there’s a risk of infection whenever you puncture the skin, the provider takes steps to minimize it. Other risks include injury to the blood vessels or nerves, calcification at the injection site and development of scar tissue.