Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has made headlines thanks to Kim Kardashian and the ‘blood facial’ image she posted on Instagram for all to see. PRP has been around for a while to promote healing in dental, orthopedic, and plastic surgery procedures but in the last few years the benefits of skin rejuvenation have been recognized.
One common misconception is that this procedure requires us to smear blood over your face – leaving you looking a bit like Kim in her photo. It’s actually a much more involved process that includes a blood draw, centrifuge and needles.
PRP is derived from your own blood. Blood is drawn from a small needle similar to the ones used when you are getting labs done. The blood is spun in a special centrifuge to separate its components into red blood cells, platelet rich plasma and plasma. The platelet rich plasma contains platelets, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in growth factors. When PRP is applied topically or by injection, high concentration of these growth factors are applied to an area of aging and/or scarring.
Using your own blood/growth factors eliminates any potential allergies. PRP has been shown to have an overall rejuvenating effect on the skin (improved skin texture and tone, improved fine lines and wrinkles, increased volume, and improved appearance of scars). In practice, PRP has shown success when used on the face, neck, chest, and hands and results are very natural looking.
- Do not take Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) for 10 days before treatment as these impair platelet function in the normal clotting process and thus promotes bleeding and bruising. Acetaminophen is ok.
- Eat a light meal and be well hydrated for the procedure.
- Do not wear makeup the day of treatment.
- In the 2-3 days following treatment, do not expose yourself to long periods in the sun and do not use a sauna, hot tub, Jacuzzi, or go swimming.
- Avoid hot or cold temperatures and large temperature swings for 2-3 days.
- No exercising or strenuous activity for 24 hours.
- No facial treatments (peels, lasers, etc) for at least 2 weeks following procedure.
PRP is also making headlines for its application in hair loss. Stay tuned for a post about this! If you’re ready to experience the blood facial, contact me for an appointment.