You might have heard of the “Vampire Facial” and if you’re like me, it doesn’t sound like something you’d ask for, much less pay for! Yet, the “Vampire Facial” is quite popular thanks in part to publicity surrounding Hollywood celebrities and their experience with it.
What puts the vampire in the facial is the addition of platelet rich plasma (PRP) to a facial treatment such as microneedling. The platelet rich plasma comes from your own blood and contains healing properties and growth factors. When these growth factors are concentrated and reintroduced into the face during a microneedling procedure, they promote rejuvenation within damaged facial tissue. The goal is to see better results when treating facial scars, acne and damage from the sun.
The use of PRP to promote healing has been used in healthcare for over a decade and has made its way to dermatology. Not only is PRP used for skin rejuvenation but dermatologists are also using it to treat hair loss by injecting it directly into the scalp and are getting some pretty amazing results.
Whether the dermatologist is using PRP for skin rejuvenation or to treat hair loss, the basic process of obtaining the PRP is the same. It starts with a basic blood draw of 1 or 2 tubes of blood. The blood is then processed in a high speed centrifuge where the platelets are separated from the red blood cells. This results in a small syringe of plasma containing a high concentration of platelets rich in the growth factors needed for rejuvenation of skin or hair follicles. The PRP suspension is then ready to be used on the face for facial rejuvenation or injected into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.
Whether having PRP treatment for facial rejuvenation or for hair loss, there are very few side effects or risks. A consultation is needed to make sure a patient is a good candidate and more than one treatment is necessary to achieve desired results. While the use of PRP in dermatology is considered cosmetic and there are no extensive clinical studies substantiating its effectiveness, most dermatologists agree that the use of PRP shows great promise in skin rejuvenation and promoting hair growth.