When it comes to removing scars from acne, I am the first to sign up. My acne scarring has made me so insecure for as long as I can remember. After hearing about Microneedling with PRP, I jumped on the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Julie Shelley at Renew Wellness and Aesthetics to learn more about it. I learned that it is the same procedure Kim Kardashian West had done on one of her shows. It is also called The Vampire Facial. I will have to admit, the name sounds very scary and intimidating. The actual procedure was a breeze though.
What is Microneedling with PRP?
Microneedling with PRP is a facial that contains Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). According to Harvard Health Publishing, PRP is defined as the following: “Plasma is the liquid part of your blood in which the red and white blood cells, salts, vitamins, and other substances are suspended. Most of it is water, and once red blood cells are removed, it’s yellowish in color. Platelets are among the substances suspended in plasma. They are tiny cell fragments (half the size of red blood cells) whose main function is to help blood clot if a blood vessel is cut or damaged. But platelets also promote healing by secreting growth factors, which, just as the name suggests, stimulate cell growth and proliferation.” Published October 2009.
My procedure would be done by Dr. Julie Shelley at Renew Wellness and Aesthetics in Oklahoma City (specifically the Nichols Hills area). This procedure is a more natural way to rejuvenate the skin (ie: getting rid of wrinkles, scarring, etc).
What are the Benefits?
PRP alone helps to stimulate collagen. Collagen is a very important part of the skin’s elasticity and youthfulness. When you combine the PRP with Microneedling, the procedure can reduce the appearance of scarring, wrinkles, sun damage, and large pores. The best part is that there are hardly any risks or side effects due to the fact that the PRP is coming out of your own blood. That doesn’t mean that everyone is able to have the procedure done though. Make sure to tell your doctor if you have any blood disorders or health problems before getting it done!
Dr. Shelley told me to drink plenty of water the day before so I would be super hydrated. This helps the skin as well as when they draw your blood (I will get to this later). I was also told not to take any kind of blood thinner before the procedure.
During the Procedure
The very first thing Dr. Shelley did was apply a numbing cream all over my face (except eyes of course). She allowed this to stay on my face for around 30 minutes.
After the numbing cream was applied, I had my blood drawn. PRP is, as stated earlier, found in your blood. Dr. Shelley puts the tube of blood into a centrifuge to separate the PRP from the rest of the red blood cells.
After the numbing cream worked its magic and the PRP had been separated, came the Microneedling. Dr. Shelley uses a Skinpen, which is the only FDA approved tool to use when microneedling. Before she started with the Skinpen, Dr. Shelley massaged the PRP over the area she was about to microneedle. She compared the absorption of PRP by Microneedling to aerating your lawn. The skinpen has 12 tiny needles which cause micro-injuries to the skin as it goes over it. This allows the PRP to be sucked into the skin.
The Microneedling part took around 30-45 minutes. I would like to note that I used the deepest level of penetration (Level 2) on some areas of my face and the pain was still tolerable!
After the microneedling came the PRP injections. Dr. Shelley injected the leftover PRP into the areas that had deeper scarring. This gave my skin an extra boost in those areas! This took just a couple of minutes and didn’t hurt too badly as my skin was still numb.
After the procedure was complete, my face looked like I had been in direct sun for days without sunscreen!! Definitely not a procedure I recommend getting done when you have an event directly after. Dr. Shelley told me I could wash the PRP/blood off my face after 8 hours. This gives it plenty of time to soak into the skin.
After the Procedure
I was sent home with a list of do’s and don’ts from Dr. Shelley. I wasn’t able to use my normal skincare routine or makeup for 18 hours after the procedure. I was also instructed to avoid going to the gym and direct sunlight for 48 hours. Surprisingly, by the time I got home, my face wasn’t near as red as immediately after the procedure.
The recovery went great for me! By the following morning my face was only a light pink color and slightly swollen (which is to be expected from all of the trauma). By day 3, my face had gone back to its normal color and was not swollen at all! I actually enjoyed the “glow” the procedure gave me! My skin looked so beautiful. My skin texture was much better. It also looked brighter and my scars were slightly less noticeable!
The cost for one treatment is usually around $600.
Would I do it again?
I would ABSOLUTELY, 100 TIMES, yes do this procedure again!! The pain was so tolerable and the benefits are amazing. I actually am having two more treatments done with Dr. Shelley and will be updating this blog post with the after results of those!