In case you don’t remember high school biology, “Platelets are the cells that circulate within our blood and bind together when they recognize damaged blood vessels,” says Dr. Marlene Williams of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. When the body is wounded, platelets come to the wound site and stick together to create a clot and stop bleeding. They also encourage the growth of new tissues. This new tissue growth is what scientists, doctors, and spas that use Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy are after.
Chang begins the 90-minute procedure with a deep cleansing of the face and the application of numbing cream. During the numbing process, Chang draws blood from the patient’s arm and then places two vials of blood in a centrifuge for 10 minutes to isolate the PRP. Chang then removes the numbing cream from the patient’s face, applies some PRP to the face and then injects the plasma into the skin with a microneedling machine.
Many people coming to our practice choose the Vampire Facelift® because it’s a non-surgical procedure. The term “facelift” when used in the context of the “Vampire Facelift®” describes how volume placed artistically and strategically under the skin can “lift” the skin away from the bony structure creating a more youthful appearance. As people get older, the fat under the skin decreases making the person look more hollow.
In general, you’ll want to increase your water consumption for a day or two prior to the appointment. This helps increase the volume of blood in your body, making the PRP process much easier. You’ll also want to avoid blood thinners, if at all possible, for up to two weeks prior to appointment. These include over-the-counter pain medications and vitamins. Do not stop prescription medication blood thinners without first consulting with the doctor who prescribed them to you.
Platelets, Zeichner explains, are rich in growth factors, which essentially act as energy boots for our skin. This helps our skin function optimally, increasing everything from collagen to elastin, while also bringing antioxidant and hydrating properties. "Platelet-rich plasma is now commonly used topically as part of a regular facial, used along with microneedling to enhance penetration into the skin, and is even being injected into the skin in the same manner as dermal fillers," says Zeichner.