Also known as the “vampire facial,” platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has received so much attention that it may seem as if we’ve finally found the fountain of youth. Despite the hoopla, there’s little evidence to show that it works — or doesn’t work.
If you’re considering getting a vampire facelift, here’s what you should know.
What exactly is PRP?
We all have platelets in our blood. PRP is 3-step procedure that involves having your blood:
- Drawn from your arm
- Placed into a machine that separates the platelets from the rest of your blood
- Re-injected into you (only the part of your blood that contains a high concentration of platelets).
Orthopedic surgeons use PRP to help athletes recover more quickly after an injury.
In dermatology, PRP is being tested as a possible treatment for hair loss.
If you have PRP to treat signs of aging on your skin, here’s what to expect:
- Blood drawn: You would have a small amount of blood (about 2 to 4 tablespoons) drawn from your arm.
- Blood taken to lab: The test tube containing your blood would be placed in a medical device called a centrifuge, which separates your blood into layers. One of these layers contains a high concentration of platelets.
- Blood injected: Your injector injects the blood that contains the high concentration of platelets into your face or scalp, using a syringe or micro needling (device that looks like a lint roller with tiny needles sticking out of it). To give you immediate results, your injector may also inject a filler.
The entire procedure takes about 45 minutes to one hour.
While PRP may sound like something straight out of a science-fiction novel, some patients are finding that PRP can:
- Reduce wrinkles
- Plump up sagging skin
- Get rid of deep creases
- Improve one’s complexion
- Diminish acne scars
Another perk: There’s little to no downtime.
How long does it take to see results?
the full effects appear within a few weeks to months.
How many PRP injections do you need?
Researchers have found that most patients who get results have 3 or more treatments.
To give their patients more immediate results, some injectors inject a filler along with PRP. This allows a patient to see immediate results.
Who can have PRP rejuvenation?
While PRP is considered safe for most people, it’s not recommended for anyone who has one of the following medical conditions:
- Hepatitis C
- HIV or AIDS
- Any type of blood cancer
- Cardiovascular disease, which requires taking a blood thinner
- Skin cancer in the area to be treated
How long do the results last?
Results can last as long as 18 months.
Is PRP right for you?
While the results are unpredictable, injectors are finding that people want to know whether PRP can give them younger-looking skin.