Microneedling with PRP
Skin problems on highly visible areas of the body, such as the face and neck, can seriously impact your mood, confidence and wellbeing. However, many concerns affecting this delicate skin can be treated effectively with microneedling. Add PRP to your microneedling treatment and you can further enhance your look. Results from microneedling are visible, long-lasting and, most importantly, safe. The treatment also allows you to avoid more invasive procedures and has a relatively short recovery.
Microneedling and PRP treatments also offer you tremendous convenience, since they can treat multiple problems simultaneously, giving you high-quality and comprehensive improvements to the problems which trouble you most. Skin problems which are the result of skin damage, such as brown spots or acne scars, or early aging symptoms, such as fine lines and wrinkles, can all be improved through microneedling and results can be extended with simultaneous PRP.
If you are considering having a microneedling treatment, you should also talk to board-certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Haena Kim about including PRP in your treatment. By adding your body’s own natural growth factors to skin treated with microneedling, you can enjoy long-lasting skin rejuvenation and maximize the benefits of your microneedling treatment safely. The two treatments work exceptionally well together, though you can also have substantial benefits form microneedling alone.
What is microneedling?
Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is an outpatient procedure which Dr. Kim performs in her offices. During the treatment, the surgeon will carefully apply a series of fine needles to the skin in areas where you wish to see improvements. The needles create hundreds of tiny punctures, or micro-wounds, in the epidermis and dermis layers of your skin. As a direct result, your body will naturally initiate a healing response, producing more collagen and elastin to heal gently damaged skin and regenerate compromised skin structures. The end results are naturally refreshed and rejuvenated skin which continues to improve for several weeks following your treatment. After treatment, skin will have improved tone, texture and hydration with the minimized appearance of damage and aging symptoms.
What is PRP?
PRP is the term frequently used to refer to platelet-rich plasma. Platelets are a primary component of the blood and can be thought of as the “first responders” when your body suffers any type of injury. Platelets at the site of the injury will begin to release a myriad of growth factors and cytokines that aid in the repair process and help reduce inflammation.
PRP is obtained by drawing a small amount of blood from your arm, which is then collected in a sterile tube. The tube is then centrifuged (spun at high-speed) to separate your plasma, which we use for your treatment, from red and white blood cells, which settle to the bottom of the tube. PRP has been used safely in orthopedic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery and reconstructive surgery for years to help stimulate wound healing.
Microneedling with PRP takes advantage of the natural healing effects that PRP can provide, while also boosting collagen and elastin, achieving more comprehensive stimulation of treated tissue with improved rejuvenation where you have the combined treatment.
What does it treat?
Microneedling helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and scars on the face and body by taking advantage of the skin’s natural healing response to injury. Areas of the face that can be treated:
- Crow’s feet
- Frown lines
- Corner mouth lines
- Forehead wrinkles
- Acne scars
- General skin improvement
What benefits does microneedling with PRP provide?
Microneedling with PRP can improve your skin in many ways, including the following:
- Enhanced skin tone
- Smoothing of wrinkles and fine lines
- Reduction in pore size
- Minimized appearance of stretch marks
- Improved appearance of scarring and age spots
Microneedling offers several additional, key benefits. First, microneedling is a natural treatment. The fine needles applied to the skin by Dr. Kim initiate your body's innate healing response. No chemicals or pharmaceuticals are applied to the skin during treatment. All your results will derive from increased collagen and elastin — natural proteins produced by your own body — which subsequently permeate the skin.
Secondly, microneedling can increase the effectiveness of concurrent treatments you may have. Absorption of topical treatments applied to the skin is significantly increased due to the micro-channels into the dermis that microneedling creates. This is why PRP is strongly recommended to accompany and is often performed with microneedling treatments. Since PRP is also a natural (autologous) treatment, it pairs exceptionally well with microneedling and can substantially boost your results with very little risk.
Do I qualify for a microneedling with PRP treatment?
Microneedling with PRP is a safe, natural and well-understood treatment which can improve all skin types and skin tones. There is minimal risk of unwanted pigmentation or hyperpigmentation resulting from a microneedling with PRP treatment. Like any treatment, however, microneedling with PRP has a few contraindications, which may mean you cannot have the treatment or will need to wait before having your treatment.
For example, if you currently have open wounds on your skin or other forms of abrasion, you will need to wait until these have resolved before you can have your procedure. You will also need to delay your treatment temporarily if:
- You have acne and have used Accutane within the last three to six months
- You are a woman who is currently pregnant or breastfeeding
- You have had radiation treatments within the last year
Dr. Kim can assess your medical history during your consultation and recommend the optimal time for you to have your procedure if any of these circumstances apply to you. She can also recommend alternative treatments that you may qualify for if you prefer not to wait.
How is microneedling with PRP performed?
Dr. Kim will perform your microneedling treatment by applying a pen that includes many fine needles to your skin. These will be used to gently and precisely puncture tired or damaged skin in your concern areas. Since these wounds are very small, the treatment is considered minimally invasive, which is a major benefit of the procedure.
These tiny punctures or “channels” will trigger your body's healing response, as described above, which will initiate the production of collagen and elastin. These two natural proteins will produce the improvements to the tone, texture, hydration and appearance of your skin, which is the goal of the treatment.
Microneedling does not do lasting harm to the skin. The wounds, or punctures, are very small and heal very quickly. Additionally, only some of the skin in the treatment area will be punctured, leaving surrounding skin unaffected by the pen’s needless. You will still enjoy rejuvenation in adjacent skin tissues, however, since collagen and elastin will diffuse throughout the area, improving these tissues, as well.
Is a microneedling procedure painful?
Due to the fine gauge of the needles used in microneedling treatments, you will experience minimal to no discomfort during your procedure. Also, a numbing cream will be applied to your skin before the needles are administered. It will take 20 to 30 minutes for the topical anesthetic to reach its full effect and Dr. Kim will not begin your procedure until you are fully prepared.
While you will feel no pain during your procedure, you will feel some sensation. Microneedling is often described as feeling like sandpaper on the skin. It is a distinct but not unpleasant sensation and one which is highly tolerable. Additionally, procedure time is very short, which will also help keep you comfortable.
If you have more severe symptoms, Dr. Kim may elect to use longer needles, which will produce more substantial results. If this is the case, you may experience more intense sensation. However, you will still feel relatively comfortable during treatment.
Recovering From Microneedling
Microneedling is an outpatient procedure with no downtime, so you will be able to return home immediately with minimal disruption to your schedule. If you have microneedling combined with PRP, Dr. Kim will recommend that you do not wash your face until after you return home. This will allow maximum penetration of the PRP into your skin, which will enhance your results.
After treatment, your skin may appear reddish, with a “flushed” look but, by the next day, your cheeks will look more like they did before treatment, with just a mild flush present. You may have some visible needle marks along the forehead and jawline, where the skin is thinner, but this will be very short-lived if it does occur. If marks like these appear, you can expect them to resolve within 72 hours.
How long will my microneedling results last?
Microneedling boosts the presence of collagen and elastin in your skin, giving you great results quickly. However, as you continue to age, new collagen and elastin will, inevitably, also break down. You will still be able to enjoy long-lasting results but, at some future point in time, a follow-up treatment will be necessary. Since each patient is unique, the length of results will vary from individual to individual. However, after you have achieved the full benefits of your treatment, you can plan for follow-ups — usually every four to six weeks, on average — to maintain your new, healthy and vibrant look.
Learn more about microneedling with PRP today and determine if it's the right solution to help you achieve the clear, bright skin you deserve. Call HK Facial Plastic Surgery today at (925) 891-4135 to schedule your in-person consultation with Dr. Haena Kim. Dr. Kim treats patients with personalized, high-quality care and safe, effective procedures — for worry-free results.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you do not need to have PRP with your microneedling treatment. However, since the benefits are significant, and the treatment is extremely safe as well as convenient, it is an option that you should strongly consider, especially if you have already elected to have microneedling. Dr. Kim can give you more information as well as her recommendation on whether you would also benefit from a PRP treatment, based on an in-person evaluation of your skin.
We generally recommend a series of at least three sessions, but some patients see results after the first treatment. Treatments are spaced about four to six weeks apart with maintenance typically performed on an annual basis.
It is entirely natural to be concerned about pain prior to a medical procedure. Also, many patients have an aversion to needles that fuels their concerns. However, patients should not avoid the many benefits of microneedling due to these fears. Dr. Kim carefully prepares each patient for their microneedling procedure and, overall, the treatment is quite comfortable. The long-lasting benefits of microneedling also far outweigh any temporary discomfort.