I’m notorious for trying all different skin treatments regardless of how crazy they are. My mission is to look 25 forever, so when I heard that applying your own plasma to your face aides in skin prejuvenation, I ran to my friend Nancy Byrne at Dr. Marc Meulener’s dermatological office in Basking Ridge for some microneedling with PRP, a.k.a. Vampire Facial.
What is microneedling? Microneedling is a skin treatment that creates micro-injuries, or channels, to the treated area via the tiniest needles I’ve ever seen. The purpose of injuring your skin this way is to stimulate your body’s natural collagen and cell production, resulting in smooth, plump skin. Think of it this way: when you fall off your bike and scrape your knee, your body has to boost its collagen and cell production to help the wound heal. Same concept applies here.
What is PRP? PRP is Platelet Rich Plasma – which is the “good plasma” that comes from your own blood. A nurse or phlebotomist will draw your blood, then run it through a centrifuge in order to separate the platelets. These platelets contain collagen and growth factors that help stimulate healing and increase production of new skin cells. PRP is a very common treatment for athletes to cut down on recovery time. PRP can be injected into the treatment area, or in my case, it can be applied topically prior to microneedling.
I opted to have my PRP applied topically because when injected, it’s isolated to the injected area. When applied, this enables it to get into the planes and grooves of the skin, deep into the dermis and epidermis layers. If I had deep wrinkles, I would’ve focused only on those areas by injecting.
Here’s what our plasma (PRP) looks like:
- Reduces appearance of large pores
- Reduces acne scars and sun spots
- Evens and smooths skin tone and texture
- Improves appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Reduces broken capillaries
Nancy started off by applying a numbing spray to my face. She followed up with a prescription strength topical anesthetic cream. She left it on for about 10 minutes while she prepped the equipment. She wiped off the cream and went over my skin with an exfoliating tip on the microneedle to help prepare for the PRP and treatment. This felt like light scratching – and now I was ready for the treatment.
Nancy applied some of the PRP to my forehead and began moving the microneedle tip in that same area (when not using PRP, serum is applied instead). PRP is applied throughout the treatment because it absorbs within seconds. You cannot use this tool up and down – you must lift the tip and run over it in the same direction from where you started, otherwise you can seriously damage your skin. She moved to my hairline, temples, cheeks, chin, jawline, above the lip, nose and under eyes. She also microneedled part of my scalp to help stimulate new hair growth. The treatment took about an hour.
The Recovery and What to Expect
For the first 24-hours, you cannot wash or touch your face. You should avoid strenuous workouts and sweating. Your face has small openings – would you touch an open wound with dirty hands? No.
The amount of blood you’ll have on your face post-treatment varies by person. My scalp, jawline, and under eye were the most bloodied. The blood fully washed away after 48 hours.
I was given a serum to apply after the 24-hour period was up. I washed my face with my Curél Foaming Wash because it’s moisturizing and meant for sensitive skin with minimal ingredients. I followed up with the serum Nancy gave me and that was it – I did not start applying any other products, including eye cream, for 72 hours. Once you can apply product again you must wear SPF. Your skin will be ultra-light sensitive.
My face was in pain and throbbing until the following morning. Again, it was wounded so some discomfort is to be expected. Your skin will peel in the days following. I peeled near my chin on the third and fourth days, but it was gentle peeling. My face felt like snake skin, but that’s also normal. For me, this was the worst part. My skin normally feels like butter, so having it feel rough and scaly was annoying (but worth it).
Most importantly: DRINK YOUR WATER! Hydration = healing. #Chug
Is it painful? Yes, but the anesthetic was only on for 10 minutes. I have a decent tolerance for pain and my forehead felt like it was being tattooed. We don’t have much skin there, so I expected this to hurt. However, my hairline and scalp weren’t numbed and didn’t hurt much, and my cheek and jawline didn’t hurt at all (and that’s where she needled the deepest).
Some results are immediate: my pores looked a bit smaller. My texture was improving daily. My dark circles diminished by day two.
Some results take longer: my minimal smile lines are diminishing, the one fine line on my forehead has shrunk significantly, and my complexion looks so even. It could take up to 6 months to see more drastic results. These results were noticed one-month post-treatment.
Would I do it again? Yes. I love the smoothness and clarity of my skin. I could definitely handle the discomfort again because no pain, no gain, pain is beauty…you get my point. Nancy also checks in on me weekly to see how my skin is doing!
Where to get this treatment
Choice Dermatology Group
Dr. Marc Meulener MD, PhD
12 Ridge St.
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
For more information and to set up an appointment, call: 908-766-7546
Follow Choice Dermatology on Instagram @choice_dermatology and Nancy Byrne @nancybyrne1
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get this treatment done in a medical facility under a doctor’s supervision.
For more on the Garden State, keep checking out HipNewJersey.com!