Ageing is a natural process that everybody must go through. As the years fly by we begin to notice changes to our body and appearance – our skin texture becomes less smooth, our face shape changes due to a decrease in collagen, and we even notice our skin greying a little.
While ageing is not something we can totally stop, there are ways to slow down the process and even to reverse it to a degree. These treatments are constantly in development, and over time new methods are discovered that increasingly allow you a better quality of life and to look as young as you feel.
One such method is Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment (PRP Treatment), a fast growing cosmetic treatment that can be used throughout the body to bring back the sheen of youth. PRP Treatment can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, remove dark circles and puffiness under the eyes, improve the appearance of scars, and bring an all-over facial rejuvenation that can strip years away.
Known by a variety of names, PRP Treatment may also be referred to as a PRP Facial or PRP Injections, and has also labelled the ‘Vampire Facial’ or ‘Vampire Facelift’ due to its use of extracted blood.
PRP Treatment essentially involves extracting a small amount of blood from the patient and specially treating it before injecting it back into whichever area requires attention. It is often used for cosmetic purposes, but it has also been used in dentistry and reconstructive surgery.
This special treatment has proven very popular and has received some high profile celebrity endorsements. Kim Kardashian led the way in 2013 and since then numerous other celebrities have undergone the treatment. This has made PRP Treatment a very common choice for those looking into anti-ageing options.
Certain other injectable anti-ageing treatments are known as dermal fillers. These can be either temporary or permanent and generally use solid material injected into the skin to remove wrinkles or creases and to plump out the lips. These injections are generally administered directly into the area the patient wants to change, show their results quickly, and only affect that one relatively small part.
The Vampire Facial, however, has the advantage over other treatments as it offers rejuvenation of the whole face and lasts far longer than many dermal fillers. It is considered to be a safer option, with there being little risk of infection as the treatment uses your own blood. There is also the bonus of PRP Treatment showing its results slowly over weeks and months, and this way offers a more discreet form of treatment instead of the overnight transformation many dermal fillers provide.
PRP injections work in a fascinating way by essentially drawing a small amount of your blood, treating it, and injecting it back into the appropriate area. Understanding exactly how this is done shows why it works, explains its low risk factor, and explains a lot about its popularity.
First of all the blood that was removed is placed inside a sterile sealed test tube before being put into special centrifuge for around ten minutes. This centrifuge separates the blood into its individual components, dividing the red and white blood cells from the platelets and plasma.
The plasma in the test tube will now contain more platelets as a result of the treatment and is called ‘platelet rich plasma’, or PRP for short. This will contain plenty of special proteins known as ‘growth factors’ that help to repair damaged or worn skin tissue. This is the substance that helps the human body recover from burns and skin injuries, and it is injected into whichever location needs treatment. From there the platelet rich plasma will send signals through the body, encouraging other cells to rush to the injected area. These cells then get to work healing, clearing and rejuvenating by stimulating the surrounding cells and increasing their volume.
One particular cell that is activated in this process is called the fibroblast cell. This is the collagen-producing cell, and it is collagen that gives our skin its vibrant youthful look. Yet as we get older our bodies produce less and less collagen which leads to us developing the wrinkles and fine lines associated with ageing. PRP Treatment encourages our bodies to produce collagen as well as the pre-adipoctye cell which helps fill out our face to give it that younger appearance.
It all starts with an initial consultation where you will speak with a specialist to see whether PRP Treatment is right for you. They will ask about your medical history and what you are hoping to achieve with the treatment. They will also tell you what PRP injections involve, discuss your expectations, and possibly take photos of you for before/after comparisons.
Should the doctor decide PRP Treatment is right for you then an appointment will be arranged. At this appointment your blood will be drawn, usually from the arm as in a normal blood test. It will then be placed in a test tube and treated in the centrifuge mentioned above for ten minutes. This will separate the components in your blood and increase the number of platelets in the plasma.
Once the plasma is ready, the skin on your treatment area shall be washed of any makeup and cleaned with antiseptic. You will then be given a topical anaesthetic cream that sits on your skin for thirty minutes to an hour, numbing the area to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure.
After this, the platelet rich plasma will be injected into the treatment area using a very fine needle. Numerous injections may be needed depending on the area being treated, but many patients report feeling little to no pain due to the anaesthesia and the thin needle. If there is any soreness it is likely to be around the lips when injections to the face are administered.
The injection process usually only takes around 15 minutes and you should experience minimal discomfort. During the procedure part of the Platelet Poor Plasma (PPP) is retained for later use, and afterwards the face is cleaned and a layer of this PPP applied to maximise the benefits of the treatment. This layer of PPP should stay on your skin after you leave the clinic, so it is advised you avoid touching, cleaning or moisturising your face until the following morning. Makeup should be left off in this time as well.
It is possible that your doctor will apply ice to your face after the procedure to minimise any swelling, and you should be able to return to your daily schedule almost immediately. The treatment procedure usually lasts anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes. It is strongly advised that patients eat and drink plenty before they have the injections, as this will allow the blood to be taken more easily.
The number of treatments you may need will depend on various factors. These include your skin type, age, how you respond to the PRP injections, and what you want to achieve. As a general rule we advise that patients aged over 40 have a course of three treatments, each spaced one to two months apart. Younger patients may require only one session, but as every person is different it is wise to treat each as an individual. The best course of action can then be decided depending on their reaction to the first course of treatment.
These are only guidelines to achieve optimal results from PRP Treatment, however. One session may not have the strongest effect on somebody’s appearance but it may be suitable for what they want. Therefore it is advisable for patients to be clear with their doctor on what they are looking to achieve. A follow up session at the clinic should determine what the best course of action is for you.
The benefits of a full course of PRP Treatment should last anywhere between 18 months to two years. This is a long-lasting but not permanent treatment, and its duration will likewise differ between individuals. For people looking to maintain the effects of the treatment though, it is generally advised to have the procedure done around once per year.
Getting a PRP facial offers a great number of benefits that have contributed to its rising popularity. Rarely among such cosmetic treatments, the Vampire Facelift offers a completely natural and organic method of rejuvenation throughout the body with lasting results. Even now the full range of applications that PRP Treatment can be used for is still being discovered.
In cosmetic use, PRP Treatment has been found to help with –
The result of PRP Treatment on these areas will be quite different than if you had a dermal filler, and with the improved skin quality and natural volume many find PRP preferable. It also tackles areas that other treatments as less effective in, such as reducing open pores, stimulating hair growth (generally used on the eyebrow and scalp), dealing with neck lines, and reducing darkness around the eyes and improving the skin quality there. The applications that PRP Treatment can be used for are also always expanding, and there is an increasing body of evidence that shows it can even be used to treat stretch marks.
By injecting the platelet rich plasma into the face it naturally encourages the body to roll back the signs of ageing by stimulating the skin cells and restoring a youthful glow into the tissue affected. This natural and long-lasting rejuvenation comes from the plasma in the injection encouraging more collagen production, which takes time to become visible. The results of getting a PRP Facial start to show 3-4 weeks after the treatment, and it may take up to 12 months to see the full results. This means that in the months following the procedure the results will just look better and better. Some patients even report seeing the benefits of PRP injections in the face for up to two years, enjoying better skin tone and texture, softer lines, and tighter skin.
One of the great things about PRP Treatment is how safe and low-risk it is. Because the treatment relies on the patient’s own blood with no additives or chemical treatment, the injections are completely natural. This means the chances of the body rejecting the treatment is minimal and the usual risk of allergic reactions or skin sensitivity is greatly reduced.
Generally patients can expect some light bruising, redness and swelling around where the injections were administered, along with a little tenderness and pain there. These should go within a few days, however, and are nothing abnormal. It is also not uncommon for many patients to feel some mild itchiness for the first day or two after treatment in the area where the injections were made. Again, this is normal and will subside quickly.
The worst that most patients will experience from a Vampire Facelift is puffiness in the face immediately after the procedure. This may especially affect the area around the eyes, which may also look slightly bruised, but these should disappear within a few hours, or at worst over a few days. The reason the eyes are affected in this way is because the skin around them is packed with small blood vessels and treatment in this area will almost always affect them.
After your treatment you will be advised by your doctor on how to reduce any swelling or pain. This typically includes applying a cold compress to the treated area and advising you not to touch any swollen parts. They will also likely recommend you do not apply any cream or makeup for at least six hours after the procedure to minimise the risk of infection.
Despite this most patients find they can go straight back into their daily lives as normal after getting a Vampire Facelift. They will not experience immediate results but, as previously mentioned, they will see an improvement slowly occurring in the months after the treatment. This can take up to a full year to be completely apparent, and with the effects of PRP Treatment lasting anywhere between one year to two years this can prove ideal for many people.
However, PRP Treatment has also been found to be one of the more variable cosmetic options available. The amount that an individual will benefit from receiving PRP injections differs greatly from person to person. It is impossible to say how someone will respond to the treatment before it is done, with some noticing far stronger results than others.
The cost of having PRP Treatment varies widely depending on the clinic and its location, which areas you want the injections in, and how many treatments you need. The lower end of pricing options for PRP injections can start as little as £40 for a single cycle, but may extend to hundreds or thousands of pounds depending on what you want to be done.
The best option is to look for reputable PRP Treatment clinics in an accessible location and ask what their pricing options are for your specific needs. It is true that PRP injections are not the cheapest variety of anti-ageing cosmetic treatment on the market, but with their all-natural filler, minimal side-effects and long-lasting results, you may find Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment to be exactly what you need.