The skin treatment everyone’s talking about. One of the best anti-aging and restorative procedures out there – created with platelet-rich fibrin from your own blood!
Why It’s Special
Suitable for all skin types and colors.
Your own blood is used to rejuvenate areas of concern.
Results are noticeable within 3-4 weeks after your treatment.
“Vampire facials” are everywhere on social media, from celebrities to influencers.
The idea of using blood to help you look younger may sound straight out of a horror movie, but the actual science behind it might really surprise you.
Considering using microneedling with PRF to help achieve your skin goals? Let us help educate you on the treatment so it makes more sense to you.
What is microneedling?
Behind the idea of microneedling with PRF is the overall concept of microneedling on its own. It isn’t a new idea, either. Microneedling, as we know it, started in 1995, but some records show its use all the way back to 1905 (although the tools and process have evolved since then).
It has been the subject of numerous studies for conditions and symptoms, including hypertrophic scars, acne vulgaris, skin rejuvenation and melasma.
The process of microneedling is done using tiny, sterilized needles. While people are more familiar with the traditional rollers, the technology has changed and we now have pen options. These pens allow for customization in the puncture depth and can be used on even smaller, more specific areas than rollers can.
The basic premise of why microneedling works come down to the reaction that those tiny needles can create. Although we know that we’re puncturing the skin on purpose, the body doesn’t. That means that the body doesn’t see microneedling as a cosmetic procedure to help improve its appearance. It sees it as a wound that needs to be healed.
As part of the healing process, collagen and elastin are sent to the site of the “injury.” This helps to plump and build up the skin and is part of why scars happen. For such purposes, collagen and elastin are also the major components behind why skin looks firm and youthful. We can drink those collagen powders all day long and all it's going to do is give us long nails and stronger hair.
Essentially, we’re “tricking” the body into sending us what we need to boost the skin’s health and appearance by making it think it’s under attack. Pretty crazy right?
In most cases, like here at FBE, we use a topical numbing cream on the skin before we begin the process. That makes the needles, even though they are small, feel like minimal pressure or only mild discomfort during the procedure.
The provider performing the microneedling will decide on a depth for the needles, between 0.1 and 2.5mm. The whole thing takes around an hour, from start to finish.
What is microneedling good for?
Because of the way that microneedling works, it may be effective in treating and managing a number of different concerns, including:
Acne and acne-related scarring
Hair loss and thinning hair
Hyperpigmentation – dark spots on your skin, including melasma
Large, visible pores
A reduction in the skin’s firmness and elasticity
Fine lines and wrinkles
A lot of the other options for treatment of many of these concerns can get pricey, like laser therapy (which can be up to four times as expensive as microneedling). Those with naturally darker skin tones may also find microneedling to be more beneficial than those other treatments, as the skin’s pigmentation can be impacted by the heat that comes with them. We at FBE feel like this is the most natural and less invasive way to produce collagen.
What is PRF?
PRF ( Platelet Rich Fibrin), is a product that is made by our own blood. Blood is made up of four different general components, such as:
Red blood cells (erythrocytes)
White blood cells (leukocytes)
Plasma (the liquid that carries them)
Fibrin ( the sheath of the plasma- known for growth factor benefits of the skin)
Each has a different, equally vital job to perform, which is why you can experience issues if you have too few (or too many) of any of those components.
Platelets, for instance, are essential to being able to clot our blood when we get injured. They are constantly circulating through the bloodstream, just waiting to be needed.
Between plasma and the fibrin sheath, they are in charge of much of the healing process. There are also cytokines and other growth factors that also play a role in its effectiveness.
How does microneedling with PRF work?
Now that you know a little more about what PRF is and how important it can be to wound healing, how does PRF get out of your body and onto your skin?
Microneedling with PRF starts with having your blood drawn. Your FBE provider will do this while you’re numbing! That is why we are so funny about mesaging you about hydrating prior to your apt.
Once your blood has been drawn, it’s placed into a centrifuge. These machines spin the blood around quickly, separating the red blood cells from the platelet-rich fibrin, which we refer to as “liquid rose". The Fibrin is known to have more growth factors that help with healing of the skin and thickening up the under eyes.
This isn’t red in color, like you may think from seeing those pictures on social media. PRF is actually light yellow or rose in color. The word vampire is really not necessary and done primarily as a "wow" factor for social media.
We take that separated PRF and use it with our microneedling Skinpen, which allows it to be inserted into the skin. This is what makes microneedling with PRF so incredibly effective. No other skincare product is able to be placed into the skin in this way, and no other product stimulates the healing process the same way either. SkinPen was the first FDA approved pen for microneedling and is our primary pen at FBE.
Once the microneedling process is finished, the remainder of the PRF is applied directly to the outside of your skin. That allows it to work from the outside, as well, creating a healthy, radiant, youthful glow as it continues to work under the skin, too. In some cases, PRF can also be directly injected into the area for more significant issues like deeper wrinkles. We are obsessed with it under the eyes and are seeing wonderful results for hair restoration.
Specific benefits of microneedling with PRF
Whether you’re afraid of needles or not, most people wonder if the benefits are really worth all of that trouble. The answer is yes, they absolutely are.
Here are just some of the benefits that people have seen from undergoing the procedure:
Minimizes acne and surgical scars
Helps reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles
Evens out the skin tone
visibly helps with tone and texture for the skin
FDA approved for the neck for fine lines and wrinkles
As you can see, those are many of the same benefits as microneedling with PRF. However, PRF also helps to speed up the healing process while also stimulating the skin to repair and renew itself quicker, so you can get those benefits in a potentially shorter period of time.
In many cases, microneedling can take more than one session to be effective, whether using PRF or not. This is especially true for people with more prominent scars that they are hoping to reduce. Typically we say if we are trying to treat something you will benefit from at least 3 sessions.
The recovery process
After the microneedling with the PRF process is over, what should you expect? Immediately after the procedure, your skin will experience some mild redness and irritation. However, by the following day, most people report only slightly tight skin and very minimal residual redness!
That’s just part of the amazing benefits of the PRF.
Over the next 48 hours, as your skin continues to heal, you may also notice mild flaking, dryness, swelling, and scaling. Make sure to use the post-procedure skin care products kit that will be given to you, and wait to apply makeup for at least 24 hours.
Within a week, you’ll be able to return to your previous routine.
Are there any risks with microneedling with PRF?
While microneedling is usually very safe and PRF only uses your own blood, there are always risks associated with anything that can puncture the skin.
It’s important to always follow the aftercare instructions, though, to minimize the risk even further. If anything unusual occurs, including significant pain or oozing, contact your provider as soon as possible to be evaluated.
In addition, certain conditions may make you at a higher risk for developing problems, so microneedling with PRF is not generally recommended for:
People who are using (or have used) isotretinoin to treat acne
People with active breakouts or flare-ups
People who have certain skin conditions
Those with a bleeding or platelet disorder
Those who have had recent surgery (within in the past 6 months)
To Sum it all up...
Microneedling with PRF is truly one of our favorite treatments. By using the body’s own platelet rich fibrin to help speed up the healing process and microneedling to encourage collagen and elastin production, you can overhaul your skin and achieve your skin goals.