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PRP Treatment For Face: An Exploratory Guide

Updated: Mar 28

In the ever-evolving world of skincare, trends often chase unrealistic ideals of age reversal. But perhaps the seemingly unattainable retention of a youthful face is drawing closer to reach for the public! That's the intention of PRP facial treatments—a science-backed approach to enhancing skin’s natural glow using the body's own revitalizing potential.  In the realm of dermatology and skincare, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy has emerged as a promising avenue for facial cosmetic enhancement. However, amidst the allure of its purported benefits, it is essential for healthcare practitioners to critically examine the scientific evidence supporting its efficacy and safety in this context.

The question is- are PRP treatments for the face all they promise to be? It is important to note that PRP treatment for the face  is considered an "unapproved use" by the FDA, and its safety and effectiveness for this purpose have not been established. For Health Care Practitioners it is essential to be educated on the full scope of the topic- so let's dive into PRP injections and consider what role they can play when it comes to healthy skin.

What exactly is PRP therapy?

PRP, short for platelet-rich plasma therapy, represents a cutting-edge trend in personalized skincare and broader medical applications. It's centered around harnessing the power of platelets from your own blood, crucial agents in the body's healing process. [1]

The science behind PRP therapy

When undergoing PRP therapy, a small amount of blood is collected, similar to a standard blood test. The magic happens when this sample is processed to enrich the platelets. These platelets are laden with growth factors vital for the body’s natural healing and upkeep. PRP's versatility shines across various uses: aiding recovery in athletes through musculoskeletal healing; bolstering wound healing by supporting the body's intrinsic healing response; and improving skin health and appearance in dermatological treatments. Its utility is expanding into other medical areas too, thanks to its alignment with the body’s own healing mechanisms.

Why a PRP facial is called a "vampire" facial

The term "vampire facial" might raise eyebrows, but it's simply a nod to the treatment's use of your own blood. This naming of the treatment is a colloquial term and not its clinical name. Far from being something out of a gothic tale, this procedure is deeply rooted in scientific principles, capitalizing on your body's innate ability to maintain skin health.

What happens on the day of treatment?

Imagine a typical day of a PRP facial treatment: it begins with a routine extraction of a small blood sample. This sample is then put in a specially designed tube and into the centrifuge machine. Here, the platelet-rich plasma is separated and then readied to be reintroduced to the skin. The method of reintroduction, whether through injections or topical application alongside techniques like microneedling, is determined based on the patient’s specific treatment plan. Microneedling, for instance, aids in deeper penetration of the plasma into the skin. Every step, from the centrifuge to the final application, is executed with precision, focusing on enhancing the skin's health with the body's own platelets.


PRP Treatment For Face - Selphyl

How does platelet-rich therapy help the face?

Platelet-rich plasma therapy stands out in the realm of skincare, offering specialized solutions worth considering for a variety of facial skin concerns. [2] [3] [4] [5]

Wrinkles and fine lines [11]

PRP therapy enhances skin elasticity and firmness by naturally stimulating collagen production. This increase in collagen can lead to an improved skin texture, making age-related lines appear more subtle and less prominent.


PRP Treatment For Face - Selphyl

Acne scars [12]

PRP therapy offers a promising approach for those grappling with acne scars. The concentrated growth factors in the plasma play a role in boosting the skin's natural repair capability. This can result in a significant reduction in the appearance and depth of acne scars, leading to a smoother skin texture.

Sun damage [13]

Addressing the challenges of sun damage, PRP therapy lends a hand in fortifying the skin's own defense mechanisms. It aids in the skin's management of UV exposure effects, contributing to the improvement of sun-damaged areas. While it doesn't undo sun damage, it bolsters the skin's resilience to environmental impacts.


PRP Treatment For Face - Selphyl

Uneven skin tone [14]

PRP therapy is notably effective in enhancing uneven skin tone. It fosters the skin's intrinsic healing and repair activities, which can lead to a more uniform complexion and an improved overall skin tone consistency.

Sagging skin [15]

For sagging skin, PRP therapy is an aid, promoting the production of elastin and collagen, crucial for skin firmness and elasticity. This can result in a more contoured and firm appearance, especially in areas prone to sagging with age.

Large pores [13]

PRP therapy can be a beneficial option for those dealing with large pores. It works towards refining the skin's texture and elasticity, potentially minimizing the appearance of pores for smoother facial skin.

Overall skin health and glow [14]

The primary advantage of PRP therapy is its capacity to nurture and sustain overall skin health, contributing to a more lively and radiant facial appearance. It complements the body's natural skin maintenance processes, encouraging a healthy and glowing complexion.


How do PRP facials compare to other treatments?

In the diverse landscape of skin care treatments, each option presents its own advantages and limitations. Let's examine how PRP facial therapy measures up against other prevalent dermatological treatments:

Microneedling

Microneedling, a technique involving tiny skin punctures to trigger a healing response, is renowned for enhancing skin texture and diminishing scars and wrinkles. While effective, it may not be ideal for everyone, particularly those with certain skin conditions or active infections, and it often entails a recovery phase where skin redness or swelling is common. PRP facial therapy, utilizing your own platelets to nurture skin health, emerges as a "softer" alternative. Contrasting with the mechanical stimulation of microneedling, PRP takes a more organic route and might offer a quicker recovery. Many choose to combine PRP with microneedling, harnessing the benefits of both. [6]


PRP Treatment For Face - Selphyl

Chemical peels

Chemical peels, which utilize a solution to peel away the top layer of skin, effectively target acne, scars, and uneven skin tone. Their strength varies, with more intense peels leading to longer downtime and potential skin sensitivity after the procedure. PRP facial therapy provides a gentler, chemical-free option, appealing to those who wish to bypass the potential discomfort and downtime of chemical peels. [7]

Laser resurfacing

Laser resurfacing, using concentrated light to refine skin texture and appearance, is especially adept at treating wrinkles, sun damage, and scars, often delivering profound and enduring results. However, it requires a recovery period and may not be suitable for all, particularly for darker skin tones. PRP facial therapy, on the other hand, is generally easier on the skin and less likely to lead to pigmentation issues. [8]

Radiofrequency therapy

Radiofrequency therapy, which heats the deeper layers of skin to boost collagen production, is celebrated for its non-invasive skin tightening and contouring effects. Despite its benefits, it usually demands multiple sessions for significant results and might not address more severe skin issues as effectively. PRP therapy doesn't just aid in tightening but also improves various skin aspects, from texture to overall tone, often in fewer sessions. [9]

FAQ

When considering PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) facial treatments, various questions often arise. Let's dive into some frequently asked questions to demystify this innovative skincare approach.

Is a vampire facial scary?

Despite its dramatic nickname, a vampire facial—the colloquial term for a PRP facial—is far less intimidating than it sounds. The procedure involves using one’s own platelets to support skin health, which may sound daunting but is generally well-tolerated. Most people find the experience comparable to other facial treatments, with minimal discomfort.

Does PRP therapy for the face actually work?


Many people report positive outcomes with PRP facial therapy. It's known for supporting the skin's appearance and helping to address issues like fine lines and uneven skin tone. While results can vary, many individuals appreciate the improvements in their skin's texture and overall appearance. [10]

PRP vs. microneedling: what’s the difference?

While both PRP and microneedling are popular skin treatments, they have distinct differences. Microneedling involves creating small punctures in the skin to stimulate a healing response, whereas PRP therapy utilizes your own platelet-rich plasma to support the skin. Often, these two treatments are combined for enhanced effects, but they can also be effective when used separately. [6]

How much does PRP facial therapy cost?

The cost of PRP facial therapy can vary based on location, clinic, and the specific requirements of your treatment plan. Generally, it's considered an investment in your skin's health. For exact pricing, a skincare professional or clinic will be able to communicate this to their patients.

Are there any side effects from a PRP facial treatment?

Like any skincare treatment, PRP facials can have side effects, though they are typically mild and temporary. These may include redness, swelling, or bruising at the treatment site. It's important to discuss potential risks with a healthcare provider and ensure treatments are performed by a qualified professional.

Who is a good candidate for PRP facials?

PRP facial therapy is suitable for a wide range of individuals looking to improve their skin's health and appearance. It's often recommended for those seeking to address skin texture, tone, and overall skin vitality. However, it's not suitable for everyone, particularly those with certain health conditions. A consultation with a skincare professional is the best way for a patient to determine if PRP facial therapy is right.


Takeaway

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) facial therapy emerges as a distinctive choice in the skincare world, renowned for its natural approach and versatility. By harnessing the body’s own platelets, it offers a supportive treatment for various skin concerns, from improving the appearance of wrinkles and acne scars to addressing uneven skin tone and even aiding in hair health. This method stands apart from traditional treatments like microneedling, chemical peels, and laser therapies by offering a gentler, more organic way to support skin health, often with fewer side effects and a shorter downtime.

When considering PRP therapy, it's important to remember that while it offers a range of benefits, its suitability can vary. The cost, potential side effects, and effectiveness depend on individual circumstances and skin types. Consulting with a skincare professional is key to understanding how this innovative treatment can align with your personal skincare goals.


Potential Limitations And Risks

While ovarian platelet rich plasma therapy holds promise as a potential avenue for addressing facial challenges, it's essential to consider the limitations and potential risks associated with this innovative treatment. Understanding these aspects is crucial for individuals contemplating ovarian PRP therapy as part of their fertility journey.

1. Limited Clinical Evidence:

The field of PRP therapy is relatively new, and comprehensive, long-term clinical studies are limited. As such, the full spectrum of its effectiveness, potential side effects, and optimal candidates is not yet fully understood.

Individual responses to platelet rich plasma therapy may vary. While some individuals may experience positive outcomes, others may not achieve the desired results. 

2. FDA Approval:

The information provided here is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a medical procedure that involves the use of a patient's own blood components for various applications.

FDA Compliance: PRP therapy is generally considered a "minimally manipulated" blood product by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is important to note that the FDA has not explicitly approved PRP for specific medical indications, and its use may fall under the category of "off-label" application for certain conditions.

PRP therapy is still awaiting formal approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for infertility treatment. It remains investigational or experimental, undergoing evaluation through ongoing research. Health care practitioners must be able to consider the full scope of fertility treatment options available and provide guidance based on all possible outcomes and options.

3. Potential for Adverse Reactions:

Although ovarian PRP therapy involves using components from the patient's own blood, there is always a risk of adverse reactions. These may include pain or discomfort at the injection site, infection, or other unforeseen complications. Individuals considering this therapy should discuss potential risks with their healthcare provider. Consultation with a healthcare professional, open communication about expectations, and ongoing research efforts will contribute to a more informed decision-making process in the realm of treatments.



About the Author

Dr. Ali is a medical journalist and copywriter employed by SELPHYL to write this article.


Selphyl Disclaimer:

SELPHYL® has not been approved by FDA for subcutaneous, submucous or intradermal injection in aesthetic medicine and the safety and effectiveness of SELPHYL® for these conditions has not been established.

SELPHYL® is designed to be used for the safe and rapid preparation of autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from a small sample of peripheral blood at the patient's point of care. The PRP is mixed with autograft and/or allograft bone prior to application to a boney defect for improving handling characteristics.

Selphyl Limitations, Restrictions, Sautions, Warnings & Contraintions

  • Prescription Only

  • Do not use if the sterile packaging is damaged or compromised.

  • Follow Universal Safety Precautions for blood collection and sharps disposal.

  • During blood draw, failure to align and firmly seat tubes in tube holder can result in loss of vacuum and loss of blood draw.

  • During PRP transfer, failure to align and firmly seat tubes simultaneously in assembled blood transfer device tube holders can result in loss of vacuum and failure of PRP to transfer to the red top PRFM tube.

  • Do not initiate transfer of PRP into red top PRFM tube until the physician is ready to complete the procedure.

  • Do Not Reuse


SELPHYL CONTRAINDICATIONS

Direct connection to a patient’s vascular system of circulating blood volume.

Other health conditions and diseases may also contraindicate use of autologous PRP including but not limited to low platelet count; sepsis; localized infection in treatment area; anemia; malignancy with hematologic or bony involvement; anticoagulation therapy.


References

  1. Emer J. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP): Current Applications in Dermatology. Skin Therapy Lett. 2019;24(5):1-6.

  2. Buzalaf MAR, Levy FM. Autologous platelet concentrates for facial rejuvenation. J Appl Oral Sci. 2022;30:e20220020.

  3. Shen J, Yu X, Zhuang Y, Kong Y, Zhao J, Yao Z. Clinical efficacy and safety of targeted injection of PRP with skin booster in the treatment of aging face. Biotechnol Genet Eng Rev.

  4. Bajaj S, Orbuch D, Wang JV, Geronemus RG. Preparation and Utility of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for Facial Aging: A Comprehensive Review. Adv Ther. 2022;39(9):4021-4036.

  5. Atiyeh B, Oneisi A, Ghieh F. Platelet-Rich Plasma Facial Rejuvenation: Myth or Reality?. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2021;45(6):2928-2938.

  6. Muhammad A, Iftikhar N, Mashhood A, et al. Comparison of Efficacy of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) With PRP Microneedling in Androgenetic Alopecia. Cureus. 2022;14(10):e30418.

  7. Pakla-Misiur A, Grochowiec M, Lesiak A, Bednarski IA. Double-blind, randomized controlled trial comparing the use of microneedling alone versus chemical peeling alone versus a combination of microneedling and chemical peeling in the treatment of atrophic post-acne scars. An assessment of clinical effectiveness and patients' quality-of-life. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2021;38(4):629-635.

  8. Abdel-Maguid EM, Awad SM, Hassan YS, El-Mokhtar MA, El-Deek HE, Mekkawy MM. Efficacy of stem cell-conditioned medium vs. platelet-rich plasma as an adjuvant to ablative fractional CO2 laser resurfacing for atrophic post-acne scars: a split-face clinical trial. J Dermatolog Treat. 2021;32(2):242-249.

  9. Sany I, Mohamed Sobhi R, Badawi A, Mohamed Elmaadawi Z, Mostafa PIN. Comparative Study Between the Efficacy of Fractional CO2 Laser/Radiofrequency, PRP and a Combination of Both in the Treatment of Striae Distensae: A Pilot Study. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2022;15:1687-1694.

  10. Banihashemi M, Zabolinejad N, Salehi M, Hamidi Alamdari D, Nakhaizadeh S. Platelet-rich Plasma use for facial rejuvenation: a clinical trial and review of current literature. Acta Biomed. 2021;92(2):e2021187.

  11. Elnehrawy, N. Y., Ibrahim, Z. A., Eltoukhy, A. M., & Nagy, H. M. (2017). Assessment of the efficacy and safety of single platelet-rich plasma injection on different types and grades of facial wrinkles. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 16(1), 103-111. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.12258

  12. Nandini, A. S., Sankey, S. M., Sowmya, C. S., & Sharath Kumar, B. C. (2021). Split-face comparative study of efficacy of platelet-rich plasma combined with microneedling versus microneedling alone in treatment of post-acne scars. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 14(1), 26–31. https://doi.org/10.4103/JCAS.JCAS_160_18.

  13. Du, R., & Lei, T. (2020). Effects of autologous platelet-rich plasma injections on facial skin rejuvenation. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 19(4), 3024–3030. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.8531.

  14. Deng, T., Cheng, F., Guo, S., Cheng, H., & Wu, J. (2022). Application of PRP in Chloasma: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review. Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience, 2022, 7487452. https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/7487452

  15. Banihashemi, M., Zabolinejad, N., Salehi, M., Alamdari, Z. H., & Nakhaizadeh, S. (2021). Platelet-rich Plasma use for facial rejuvenation: a clinical trial and review of current literature. Acta Biomedica, 92(2), e2021187. https://doi.org/10.23750/abm.v92i2.9687.

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