Part I of this series discussed the skin aging process and the science behind using PRP to stimulate skin cells to make collagen and elastin. Part II will describe the PRP facelift procedure itself.
The PRP facelift has appeared in the press by many terms including the PRP facial, vampire facial and the “vampire facelift TM,” a term trademarked by a cosmetic surgeon in Arizona named Charles Runels. It has become very popular in Hollywood and New York and is now starting to spread to other areas of the country.
The PRP facelift combines the revitalizing power of micro needling and the natural power of one’s own human growth factors to stimulate skin rejuvenation with very little discomfort. The first step is to draw a small amount of blood (at glow we use a tiny 25-ga butterfly needle for the blood draw). The blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate the PRP. Meanwhile, a topical anesthetic is applied to the treatment area for 30 minutes. The PRP is then spread over the surface of the skin during micro needling. The micropen rapidly creates a pattern of microchannels, allowing the PRP to go directly into the dermis. PRP can also be directly injected into the skin with a tiny needle (similar to any dermal filler) to address areas of special concern or those difficult to reach with the pen, such as around the eyes.
The PRP facelift is non-ablative, meaning the skin is not damaged, and can be performed on any type of skin. The microchannels close up in about 15 minutes. The skin becomes red during the procedure, and will be mildly so the next day, but normal activities can resume. The skin will be sensitive to the sun, and sunblock is necessary.
The maximal effect of the treatment will be apparent in about 6 weeks. Often, 2-3 treatments are necessary for the best results. PRP skin rejuvenation treatments lift and tighten the skin, while diminishing wrinkles, photo aging, and pore size, stretch marks and acne scars. Improvements often last up to 18 months.