What is Microneedling with PRP
Microneedling, also known as Collagen Induction Therapy, is a procedure that uses a device called a Dermapen to create microscopic punctures into the skin. The Dermapen contains 12 or 32 small needles, each finer than a blade of hair. The Dermapen can be set at varying lengths to address different treatment areas. When turned on and applied to the skin, the Dermapen creates acupuncture-like microscopic channels that are invisible to the naked eye into the skin. The adjustable device will penetrate through the epidermis into the dermal layer of the skin. The purpose of these wounds is to stimulate tissue repair. When tissue is damaged, the body sends collagen and elastin to repair the wounded area. When the microneedling procedures create all the microscopic wounds, it essentially fools the body into sending extra collagen and elastin to those areas. Over the course of several days, the traumatized skin peels, revealing fresher, newer skin underneath.
By adding Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to the microneedling procedure, we are augmenting the outcome of the procedure without adding risk of adverse effects. The platelets in our body release a variety of growth factors. These growth factors aid in cell growth, tissue repair, collagen creation, the generation and repair of blood vessels, promotion of wound healing, hyaluronic acid production, and a handful of other features. When you concentrate these platelets into areas that need rejuvenation or regeneration, the platelets form a mesh and stimulate the growth of stem cells. Stem cells are key components in cell regeneration. Collagen is attracted to the mesh and stem cells and builds on top of the mesh. PRP is not a filler in the sense that Restalyn and Juvaderm are fillers. It does not act as a long-term filler. When injected into the skin, it does not sit in the dermis and provide plumpness to the dermal layer beyond the first few hours after injection. It deflates. What it does do is help create collagen, which is what Restalyn. Juvaderm and other fillers are trying to act as replacements for. It improves skin texture, tone, and helps scar healing.
Benefits of PRP
The most important reason for using PRP over other fillers is that it is from your own body. Because you are using your own plasma, there is no risk of disease transmission and no worry about hypersensitivity or allergic reaction. Additionally, the platelets in the plasma enhance wound healing, augments tissue regeneration, builds and repairs blood vessels, and aid in skin and fat cell rejuvenation.
About the Procedure
First, your skin will be prepared by cleaning with a gentle, antiseptic cleanser. Then a topical numbing gel will be applied. You will have the numbing gel on for approximately 30-45 minutes to ensure you feel as little discomfort as possible during the procedure. While waiting for the numbing gel to do its job, we will perform a blood draw. We will draw either 11 or 22 ccs. If you will be having PRP injections as well as the microneedling procedure with PRP, we will draw 22 ccs. If you are only having the microneedling with PRP procedure, it is the 11 cc draw. Your blood will then be placed in a centrifuge for 20 minutes. During this time, the centrifuge will separate your blood into three levels in the tub. The lowest level will contain your red blood cells. The middle layer, your white blood cells. The top-most layer will contain the platelet-rich plasma.
Once the treatment area is completely numb, the gel will be removed, and your skin cleaned again with a gentle, antiseptic cleanser. A new, sterile cartridge containing 12 microneedles will be inserted into the Dermapen. The pen will be set to the appropriate depth for your particular skin and needs. At different points during the procedure, this depth may be adjusted to accommodate a specific area’s needs.
Your prepared PRP solution will be applied to the microneedling area both before and after the procedure to ensure that the PRP is fully absorbed. During the procedure, the Dermapen will be glided over your skin in different directions and patterns. Many people say that the Dermapen reminds them of a tattooing gun. Since we applied a topical numbing agent before beginning the procedure, discomfort should be minimal. The feeling should range from a slight tickle to a feeling of having light sandpaper run over the skin. The microneedling will take approximately 30 minutes.
This procedure essentially causes no downtime. Recovery time will vary slightly based upon the aggressiveness of the treatment, complexion type, and skin sensitivity. You can expect some redness in the treatment area for 1 – 3 days post-treatment. You may also expect some slight flaking and peeling around days 4-7. After the first 24 hours, redness can normally be covered with light makeup. A post-treatment kit will help speed recovery. You should avoid direct sunlight for the first week, and apply a good sunscreen.
You will notice a “glow” and tightness to your skin in the treatment area immediately. As the collagen production increases, you will continue to see improvement over the next several weeks in the tone and firmness of your skin. Full results can be seen at around 6 months. We recommend a series of at least 3 treatments about 4-6 weeks apart for optimal results. After that, repeating the procedure once a year will continue to maintain the results.