Americans spend billions of dollars each year to maintain a youthful appearance. Plastic surgery spending topped $16 billion in 2016 alone and is likely to increase as cosmetic procedures become more mainstream. Fortunately for those who do not want to go under the knife, there are minimally invasive treatments that also provide great results, often at a much lower cost than surgery. One such procedure is microneedling.
Microneedling is a treatment in which tiny needles puncture the top layer of skin. Experts say it can have real benefits when done correctly, such as reversing signs of aging and fading acne scars.
Patients who wish to experience more dramatic results often opt to add platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or serums to their microneedling treatment. You may have seen photos of celebrities’ faces covered with blood after this procedure. Though this may seem off-putting, PRP is relatively risk-free when performed by professional cosmetic surgeons.
How PRP Is Used in Cosmetic Medicine
Plasma – the liquid part of blood – contains small solid components, such as red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. PRP has more platelets than normal blood, making it ideal for treating injuries and healing damaged skin.
Doctors create PRP by drawing blood from a patient, separating the platelets from other cells and increasing their concentration during a process called centrifugation. The platelets are then combined with the remaining blood.
While professional athletes have been using PRP for years to speed up the healing process after an injury, it has more recently been used in combination with cosmetic procedures to enhance aesthetic results.
- Injection – Your doctor will inject the PRP serum into the holes created by the microneedling procedure, allowing it to enter the skin and kickstart collagen production.
- Serum – The doctor will use a tool to apply the PRP serum to the outer layer of your skin.
Microneedling with PRP is popular because it can address many cosmetic concerns that may be difficult to treat with other minimally invasive techniques. It is commonly used to:
- Eliminate acne scars
- Improve skin texture
- Minimize lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth
- Plump up the under-eye area
Most patients undergo three treatments spaced four to six weeks apart. You may notice results right after the first procedure.
Preparing for Your Appointment
Your doctor will give you instructions for how to prepare for your treatment, such as:
- Arriving with a bare face
- Avoiding direct sun exposure
- Drinking plenty of water
What to Expect
Microneedling is a quick process compared to many other cosmetic procedures. When you arrive, your doctor will cleanse your skin and apply a topical anesthetic. Once this has set for 30 minutes, our professionals perform the microneedling procedure using the SkinPen®– the world’s only FDA-cleared microneedling device – with careful application performed in circular motions.
You will have blood drawn to create the PRP solution, which will then be massaged into your skin. Once the treatment is over, your doctor will apply a serum to help soothe any irritation.
Risks and Side Effects
PRP is recommended for patients who are in good health and want to treat minor signs of aging. It may not be the best option if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have certain skin conditions, like eczema or rosacea
- Have a history of poor wound healing
- Have undergone skin radiation in the last 12 months
- Scar easily
- Use Accutane for acne
Though microneedling and PRP are considered relatively risk-free procedures, you may experience side effects, including:
- Mild redness
- Tender skin
After the treatment, it is recommended to keep your skin well-hydrated and apply sunscreen several times per day to protect your face.
Recapture Your Youth at Virginia Surgical Arts
Most of us want to look younger without the potential side effects of invasive plastic surgeries. Microneedling with PRP can help you achieve the results you are looking for with less risk. Virginia Surgical Arts offers this treatment to our patients who want to recapture their youth. We will do everything we can to make sure your experience is as comfortable as possible.
Call (757) 430-7690 or schedule your consultation online today.