Also known as Vampire Facial or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is a nonsurgical skin rejuvenation procedure which offers restoration of the shape, improved tone and texture and new and younger tissue (literally).
PRP therapy is a procedure that has been used successfully for years to heal sports related injuries and non-healing wounds. It is now becoming a treatment of choice for many to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars, sun damage and dark circles under their eyes.
PRP is a natural product created from your own body. A small amount of blood is drawn and placed in a sterile tube containing a specific anticoagulant that is spun down in a centrifuge to separate the different components of the blood. Red and white blood cells are divided from the platelets and the plasma (the clear fluid). This plasma now contains a higher than normal number of platelets and is called ‘platelet rich plasma’, or PRP.
The treatment is relatively safe because of its organic nature and it works. It uses plasma taken from the patient’s own blood instead of chemicals injected into the body. The possibility of side effects is practically nonexistent because the body is unlikely to reject its own product.
The principle is to create a supra-therapeutic levels of subject’s own platelets, nearly 3-5 times above baseline values, allowing the growth factors to be released and stimulate the normal wound healing process, similar to the way the skin heals after a scrape.
The procedure can sound a little too much for some people however, you can simply visit us to inquire about the procedure and what it entails in person to feel comfortable going through with it.
HOW DOES SKIN NEEDLING WORK?
Using the ultimate technology in topical, non-invasive anti-aging treatments, small needles are inserted lightly into the dermis, causing your own wound healing system to stimulate collagen production in your skin. The needles cause micro-trauma and micro –inflammation. Your body responds by sending blood to the area for healing. Blood platelets release clotting factors and essential growth factors. Fibroblasts make and deposit new extracellular matrix and collagen and new elastin. As your skin repairs itself, new collagen builds up in the dermis, just below the surface. The wrinkles, lines, depressed scars or tethered scar tissue plump up and release without the use of anything artificial (i.e. fillers, collagen substitutes) and can be repeated gradually as needed for additional new collagen.
This process is often referred to as Collagen Induction Therapy.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE APPLICATIONS FOR NEEDLING THERAPY?
- Wrinkle treatment: fine lines and deeper wrinkles can be diminished.
- Hyper-pigmentation: diminished appearance of brown spots.
- Indented scars: decrease the depth of pitted, depressed, or shallow scars caused by acne, chicken pox, surgeries or trauma.
- Surgical Scars: raised or hypertrophic scars can become smoother with needling treatments that flatten the elevated scar tissue.
- Scar Relaxation: burns and accidents can create fibrous bands of scar tissue that can contract and create limited flexibility. Needling can break down the contracted tissue to increase mobility and flexibility.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NEEDLING VERSUS OTHER METHODS SUCH AS LASER TREATMENTS?
- The epidermis remains intact: the outer layer, or epidermis, is not removed and is left intact. The healthy skin and blood vessels in between the lines, wrinkles and scars is preserved. This improves healing, collagen stimulation and long-term results. Safe for people with a thinner epidermis due to skin type, age and sun damage.
- Less worry about pigmentation changes: because of less trauma to the epidermis, unlike lasers and strong chemical peels, there is less risk of permanent structural damage such as post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (skin darkening) or de-pigmenting (white spots or color loss).
- Fast healing and less downtime: due to the precise control and minimal trauma , the healing is very rapid with a “downtime” of just a few days (3-5) vs. up to several weeks with more invasive and aggressive treatments. Makeup can be worn the next day!
- Fewer side effects: due to the largely intact epidermis and controlled treatment areas, there are no effects such as thinning of the epidermis, heightened skin sensitivity and very little , if any, risk of infection or allergic reaction.
- Multiple or ongoing treatments are possible: other resurfacing methods cannot be repeated indefinitely because they eventually thin the skin and can create extreme photosensitivity. Needling, however, can be repeated as the dermis in the treated areas becomes thicker, not thinner. It can also be used in delicate areas such as under and around the eyes to treat “Crow’s Feet” lines, thin and crepey skin and can even help the appearance of dark circles.
Following a thorough, personalized consultation, we will discuss your particular aging, scar or overall skin rejuvenation concerns. Often, needling is used in conjunction with a medical grade topical skin peel for a more complete anti-aging treatment protocol.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TREATMENT?
Immediately following your skin needling or needling/peel combo treatment, you can expect the needled areas to be extremely red. This generally lasts for about 24 hours. By the day after the treatment any areas of remaining minor redness can be concealed using a mineral based concealer or foundation.
We use and recommend Oxygenetics- a breakthrough technology in oxygen attracting mineral foundation that was specifically created for post-treatment coverage. Studies have shown that skin protected by this particular foundation healed faster than without the makeup.
The areas treated with the needling process will get slightly crusty for about 3-4 days (wrinkles appear as slight scratches in the surface of the skin)and then a mild exfoliation of the area occurs. If your treatment plan includes the chemical peel in conjunction with the needling, you will experience mild to moderate flaking to full sheeting of the epidermis that is completed within 7 days. The initial few days of redness will then turn to light pink (think of skin after a scab has first come off) and will then continue to fade.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL YOU NEED?
Deep wrinkles, pitted scarring and scar relaxation can require up to 3 treatments scheduled several weeks up to several months apart .
In some cases, hypo-pigmented (white) scars can be recolored naturally using the needling procedure. The amount of time between treatments depends upon your specific situation and the purpose of the needling.
Improvement may be seen as soon as a few weeks after a procedure. Deeper healing of the skin continues for several months as your skin restores and rebuilds its own collagen and elastin. Skin will continue to plump and tighten as the collagen is deposited.
Medium to deep wrinkles and acne scars can require 3 or more treatments for optimum results.
Results can be enhanced and maintained when post-treatment skin products are used at home. We will recommend at-home treatments based on your specific needs. Needling can be combined with other treatments such as Botox, injectable fillers and traditional cosmetic surgical procedures.
IS THERE ANY DISCOMFORT DURING THE PROCEDURE?
We use topical anesthetic “cocktails” of multiple ingredients to numb the skin prior to the needling if a deep or aggressive treatment is planned. Typically there is very minimal, if any, discomfort.