Microneedling with PRP: What's the Famous "Vampire Facial" All About?

Using over-the-counter skincare products can help protect your skin and treat smaller problematic spots. Nevertheless, they might not be enough if you’re dealing with more serious hyperpigmentation and textured skin. This is where microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) comes in helpful

Also known as the “vampire facial”, PRP with microneedling might make your face look like something out of a horror movie, however, it’s becoming increasingly popular due to its endorsement by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian.

This type of facial takes microneedling to another level, as it uses your own blood’s unique healing cells to boost your skin tone and improve any imperfections you may have.  

Let’s take a look at what exactly is PRP with microneedling, what are its benefits, possible complications, cost and when should you expect to see results. 

What Is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a noninvasive procedure that involves the use of tiny needles to create micro-injuries in the skin. By puncturing the skin, the needles stimulate the natural healing process and promote collagen and elastin production. As a result, the skin is renewed and signs of aging are addressed. In addition to treating acne scars and hyperpigmentation, microneedling can also be used for treating sun damage and acne scars.

How does PRP microneedling work? Adding platelet-rich plasma to microneedling procedures enhances the results. Patients who wish to speed up their rejuvenation process use this technology. Microneedling with PRP involves spinning blood in a centrifuge after a small sample is taken. Plasma is separated from platelets through this process.

What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)?

This treatment uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that is derived from a small sample of your own blood. The main reason PPR is used is that it contains a number of growth factors and other beneficial proteins.

You will be given a small sample of blood on the day of your treatment, which will be spun in a centrifuge for roughly 15 minutes. During centrifugation, blood components, including platelets, are separated based on their density. Afterward, your clinician will extract the PRP to utilize its skin-healing properties.

What Is Microneedling With PRP?

With microneedling with PRP, fine needles are rolled over the skin, stimulating collagen production while applying platelets, which are a component of blood.

Microneedling may be more effective if PRP is added from blood. Blood is composed of plasma, which is a liquid, and platelets, which are solids. During wound and injury healing, platelets help blood clot. In PRP, platelets are more concentrated than other components of the blood.

Using a centrifuge, a practitioner will separate PRP from blood samples after taking a blood sample. Growth factors and cytokines are present in PRP. Skin tissue repairs itself with the help of these proteins.

To begin, the practitioner pricks the skin with a microneedling tool, making tiny holes in the skin. These tiny holes will then be filled with PRP to promote collagen production and cell proliferation.

What’s PRP Microneedling Used For?

Microneedling is used to treat a variety of skin conditions, including age spots, wrinkles, scarring, and hyperpigmentation. These effects may be enhanced by PRP and allow you to achieve your desired results more quickly.

Despite the fact that microneedling can be used to treat scars and stretch marks on other parts of the body, most studies involving PRP and scars focus on treating the face. In most cases, vampire facials involve microneedling followed by topically applied PRP. The procedure is usually suitable for most patients, with few contraindications to treatment.

This may not be the best option for you if you:

  • You are expecting
  • Use or have recently used Accutane to treat acne
  • Have active acne that has resulted in new scars
  • If you suffer from eczema or rosacea on your face
  • scar easily
  • Have a history of slow wound healing
  • Over the past 12 months, you have been exposed to skin radiation

In order to determine if you are a suitable candidate for microneedling with PRP, your doctor will look at your medical history.

How Much Does Microneedling with PRP Cost?

Aesthetic procedures such as microneedling with PRP are considered elective. Cosmetic procedures are not covered by medical insurance, so you will have to pay for them yourself.

Depending on location and provider, microneedling with PRP may cost around $750 per session. The average cost of a microneedling session for the face is about $300. You should keep in mind that the higher cost reflects the addition of PRP to microneedling.

To see full results from microneedling, you'll need more than one treatment. A person usually needs three to six sessions, with one session every four weeks. You could end up spending between $2,250 and $4,500 on this procedure.

Compared to more invasive surgeries, microneedling with PRP is less expensive. If you anticipate any costs, you can also speak with your provider about possible ways to reduce them. You might be able to negotiate with some offices. It may be possible to arrange:

  • Plans for making payments
  • Discounts for memberships
  • Financing from third parties
  • Pricing for packages 

How to Find a Reliable PRP Microneedling Provider?

Despite the fact that this is a minimally invasive procedure, you should seek the guidance and assistance of a medically trained professional. To narrow down your choices, your best bet is to google “microneedling with prp near me” to find a center that will meet your needs and budget.  It would be ideal to see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. 

Before you schedule a session, make sure to meet prospective doctors. During this time, ask about their certifications and experience. To give you an idea of the expected results, a qualified doctor will also have a portfolio of before and after images of previous clients.

How to Prepare for Your Appointment?

During your consultation with your doctor, you will receive specific instructions about how you should prepare for your treatment. Examples include:

  • A few weeks before your appointment, avoid unprotected or excessive sun exposure
  • Stay hydrated before your appointment by drinking plenty of water
  • It may not be necessary to arrange a ride home after your appointment (depending on the office's policy).
  • Wearing makeup or moisturizer is not recommended. Arrive with your face bare (you may cleanse the morning of your visit, but do not wear makeup or moisturizer).

What to Expect During Your PRP Microneedling Sessions?

When compared to other cosmetic procedures, microneedling with PRP is a relatively quick procedure.

Before the Procedure

Make sure you arrive at your appointment at least 15 minutes early. If you have any last-minute paperwork or payments to complete, this will give you time to do so. As soon as you're ready, your nurse or doctor may give you a gown to wear. Topical anesthetics will be applied after your doctor cleanses your skin. After 30 minutes, microneedling can begin. You may be asked to apply the anesthetic before coming into the office in some cases.

During the Procedure

The actual procedure consists of two steps. Microneedling takes about 30 minutes, depending on the area treated. It is during this time that your doctor will apply derma rollers or FDA-approved devices to the desired areas of your face.

The procedure involves drawing blood from your arm while your face is numbed with a syringe. After the blood is centrifuged, the PRP is separated from other components of the blood. Microneedling is usually followed by massaging the PRP solution into the treatment area. PRP is injected into the skin through microneedles, which create tiny controlled micropunctures.

A common practice is using PRP together with microneedling, instead of injecting it into the skin as it was done in the past.

After the Procedure

If you experience any redness or irritation after the procedure, your doctor may apply a serum or balm to relieve the symptoms. Any temporary side effects can also be camouflaged with makeup.

It's safe to go home at this point unless you experience an adverse reaction. Even if you are comfortable driving home, getting a ride home ahead of time can ease any uncertainty.

Potential Side Effects and Complications from PRP Microneedling

The most common side effects are bruises and inflammation, including swelling and redness. In most cases, they appear immediately after the procedure and disappear within four to six days. During this time, you should also avoid sun exposure and harsh skin treatments. Avoid rubbing or picking at your face. It is also very important to protect yourself from the sun.

You don't have to worry about cross-contamination or infection with PRP since it's derived from your own blood. There are a few, but serious, complications, such as infection and scarring. This procedure may also trigger an outbreak of herpes simplex, or cold sores, if you have a history of these conditions. Tell your provider if you have ever had cold sores.

What to Expect During Recovery

It is relatively easy to recover from this procedure. If you wish, you can return to school or work the next day. You should avoid applying too many products to your skin if there is still redness or other signs of irritation.

Once a day, cleanse and moisturize your face. You may also apply a light foundation or powder to minimize redness if you wish. Depending on your skin type, your doctor may also recommend or provide products to assist in the recovery process.

It is recommended that you avoid alcohol-based products and exfoliants while you are recovering. In order to prevent excessive sweating and heat production, avoid vigorous activities until your skin is completely healed. Among the examples are running, playing tennis, and doing heavy exercise.

It is possible to experience additional irritation or swelling as a result of sweating, and rigorous activities may increase the risk of bruising or swelling. After your treatment, you should avoid this for at least 72 hours.

When Will You See Results from Microneedling with PRP?

Inconclusive evidence suggests that PRP can help improve scarring on your face in conjunction with traditional microneedling. The downsides of adding PRP to microneedling, aside from the cost, are minimal, despite inconclusive research on its efficacy in facial rejuvenation.

PRP and microneedling need to be studied further. To see results, you will probably need several treatments. Depending on your treatment indication, you may need to follow up with your doctor for maintenance after completing your course of treatment. You should expect to spend the same amount per maintenance session if your doctor suggests it.

Who Is the Ideal Candidate for Microneedling with PRP?

All skin types and colors can benefit from microneedling. Microneedling does not damage the skin's pigment, as can sometimes happen with laser technology, nor does it cause heat-induced injury to the skin. Recovery time is minimal, and the treatment is well tolerated. 

In patients with Hepatitis C, HIV or AIDS, any type of blood cancer, or skin cancer, this type of treatment is not recommended. Furthermore, patients with wounds/infections, those who have received radiation in the past year, pregnant women, or those who are breastfeeding are not considered candidates.