Grace Blog

Laser Hair Removal Mon. December 15, 2014

What is PRP? Tue. November 18, 2014

What the heck is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and what can it do for me??

I’ve come across this question often in my practice and I would love to clarify what exactly platelet rich plasma regeneration is – and what it isn’t. PRP has been used for years to heal wounds, repair joints, enhance dental surgery and for various other purposes. Today, PRP therapies are also available for facial rejuvenation¹, hair re-growth, stimulating female orgasm (Whaaat?), improving urinary incontinence, and other areas of aesthetic medicine. Here I will discuss the ones I use in my practice for facial rejuvenation.

Our bodies naturally produce stem cells that help us heal by stimulating the growth of collagen, as well as blood vessels that deliver oxygen to bodily tissues. Platelets and growth factors found in the blood stimulate stem cells, and platelet-rich plasma contains three to five times as many of these substances as normal blood. This means that we can draw a couple tubes of your blood, spin it down via centrifuge, and harvest out those precious cells in a highly condensed plasma (platelet rich plasma).

PRP Microneedling versus PRP Deep Dermal Stimulation:

There has been much conflicting and scary information on the internet about how exactly we can use this amazing, autologous (meaning from our own body) resource to stimulate collagen and improve our skin texture and tone. In order to deliver PRP to the tissues, we can go about doing it one of two ways. You may have seen Kim Kardashian’s over-dramatic portrayal of her own treatment – this is why I write about it – you can’t get any accurate info on the stuff without researching peer reviewed journals. Because Internet.

The first way is to deliver PRP to the epidermis (outer layer of skin) via Microneedling. Microneedling involves using a handheld device that uses multiple tiny needles to puncture the skin and creates controlled micro-injury to the epidermis and superficial dermis- allowing for stimulation of the healing properties of the skin. There are many microneedling pens on the market and no one in particular does much more or less than the others. Trust me, I’ve used at least 4 different ones. Injecting the PRP topically via microneedling provides for many channels (itsy bitsy teeny tiny holes) through which the PRP can be pushed through the top layer of the skin.

When you get a microneedling PRP facial, you should expect to have your face cleansed, sometimes there will be a cooling mask or anesthetic applied, and a small amount of your blood will be drawn and spun down in a centrifuge to harvest the PRP. The portion of your blood that contains the highest amount of platelets and growth factors is found in the yellow plasma layer. This portion of the plasma layer is extracted and painted across your skin. You can treat many areas including face, neck, decollete, and hands. Once the PRP is on your skin – I will microneedle over the top of it to push the PRP into your skin.¹

Overall it is a fairly comfortable, low risk procedure – some liken it to a microdermabrasion. While results may vary, the effects if the micronedling with PRP are pretty awesome – it’s one of my favorite low-budget treatments.*

Side note: Sometimes practitioners will deliver the PRP via micro-injections to the face via a needle the size of an acupuncture needle. [Note Kim K.’s procedure] While this is a reasonable treatment, I find that the risk of bruising and overall discomfort of this technique is undesirable.

Typically, the microneedling technique has minimal downtime, improves fine lines, texture, and tone, and helps create a fantastic glow that you will notice for days to follow. It also works very nicely on superficial acne scarring.¹

Generally you will go home with instructions to apply a gentle cream and follow up with a cool compress mask. It is important not to take ibuprofen/naprosyn following the treatment, as it will blunt the exact healing and inflammatory response you desire. You will notice that you are a little red the night of the treatment and maybe a little pink the following day – nothing dramatic.¹

Microneedling alone can provide you with a nice glow and while results and experiences vary per patient, impressive results can be seen when PRP is done every 4-6 weeks, however – microneedling with PRP is not necessary more than every 4-6 months.* Typically, it takes time for the PRP to work it’s magic on your skin, so once the initial effects of the microneedling wear off, you may start to notice the effects of the PRP working at around 6 weeks.* Read: more is not better – microneedle without the PRP in between treatments instead.

An additional way to stimulate collagen is via Deep Dermal Stimulation (DDS). This procedure is used to deliver PRP to the deeper layers of the skin called the dermis. While microneedling will deliver some PRP to the very superficial layers of the dermis – a deeper treatment is necessary to enhance PRP delivery. I achieve this in my practice by drawing a little more blood than with the microneedling facial and delivering the PRP to the dermis via microcannula. This technique essentially reduces the risk of injury and bruising that many people will report with PRP treatments and only consists of about 4 needle pricks rather than 30!

Following a DDS treatment with PRP, you may find that your cheeks have a little lift, your naso-labial folds have improved, and your chin and mouth have a beautiful fullness that you might have had 10 years ago. This initial lift and fill should recede in a day or two as the PRP absorbs. While results may vary, typically within the next 8-12 weeks, the PRP will continue to stimulate growth. Slowly you will note improvement in skin laxity, quality, texture, and tone.¹

Cost:

I have seen variations of cost of the different types of treatments. Some as low as $400 for the microneedling alone to as high as $7000!! Though I believe the higher priced treatments are in high cost areas such as NYC and Beverly Hills and include dermal fillers as well.

At Grace Medical Aesthetics, I charge based on the extent of the treatment: $200 for the simple microneedling, $400 for Microneedling with PRP, $400 for Deep Dermal Stimulation with PRP, and $800 for Deep Dermal Stimulation AND Microneedling with PRP. Additional areas such as neck/decollete/hands add $200.

What PRP is NOT:

Platelet rich plasma treatment is not a panacea. (not the continent – the cure all) It is not the fountain of youth – though it has been found in clinical studies to have some pretty awesome anti-aging and regenerative qualities.*

I like to compare all anti-aging treatments to a makeup case. In the bag will be various tools and products to highlight, contour, and enhance various different areas of the face – yet no product will make you runway-ready on it’s own. It takes the combination of many treatments – some more dramatic in their outcomes than others – yet no treatment less valuable than the last. Rather than expect dramatic results from one treatment -use all the tools at your disposal to create, enhance, restore, and rejuvenate!

PRP in a Nutshell:

Lots of misinformation on the Internet.
We lose collagen as we age—> skin laxity, wrinkles.
PRP stimulates collagen and has growth factors.¹*
Kim Kardashian.
Microneedling rocks.
Microneedling plus PRP = rocks even more.
Deep Dermal Stim = stimulates collagen deeper in the tissues.
Done with cannula so easy peasy.
Microneedling + PRP + Deep Dermal Stim = rocks most.
Blah, blah, blah, science words, Kim Kardashian.
Not gonna fix everything but a nice tool to add to your toolbox. Or was that makeup bag? – ugh, metaphors.

Hope you enjoyed the read and that I was able to answer some questions about PRP.
Best,
Charis

 
 
 
 

**Results may vary. Unless noted otherwise, testimonials provided for Grace Medical Aesthetics are patients of Grace Medical Aesthetics who have undergone completed treatment(s.) Before and after images reflect real results from real patients, although individual results may vary. Statements estimating treatment duration and the amount of treatments required are based on the typical experience of patients of Grace Medical Aesthetics, however, duration and amount of treatments needed may vary per client. A guarantee is neither provided nor implied.

Why Choose Grace Medical Aesthetics? Tue. January 14, 2014

Ease of Treatment:

You can get your treatment at the time of consult. There’s no need to book your initial exam with a medical director, only to return at a later date for an appointment with a nurse or injector for treatment. When you consult with Grace, you can have a conversation about your needs and desires – confident in the fact that you and Grace understand each other. It won’t be necessary to then try to explain to an injector what it was that you decided with the initial medical director or nurse consultant. Charis (AKA Grace)– a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, is the consultant, the practitioner, AND the injector. You can receive the treatment at the time of consult, or wait until a later date – it’s your choice, your time, your decision.

The Feminine Perspective:

Charis has a gentle hand and a feminine perspective. An Emergency Department Nurse for 13 years; Charis has a wealth of injectable experience. As a woman for the past 30 something years; she also has a grasp on what women want, what our perception of beauty is, and exactly how the decline of our youth affects us. She is keen to the subtleties of makeup application and our attempts to enhance our best features, while being sensitive to any flaws we try to mask. She manifests that knowledge into the application of beauty to the face via injectables – she is able to sculpt and transform the face in a manner that is more art than medicine. Charis’s technique is inclined toward subtle, gentle enhancements – no Beverly Hills Housewives here!

New Technology:

Charis exclusively uses Cannula Technology for the application of dermal fillers. A trainer for Dermasculpt blunt – tipped cannulas, Charis has become a leader in cannula technique. Blunt-tipped Cannulas better allow for intricate and exact sculpting to the face – while minimizing discomfort, trauma, swelling, and down-time. Bruising is almost non-existent and a majority of clients can walk out of Grace ready to go to work or back to their daily routine without anyone knowing they had something done…*

Boutique Medicine:

With the increasing popularity of medi-spas, many believe that “one stop shopping” is where it’s at. Unfortunately, the places that purport to “do it all” become a jack of all trades and a master to none. At Grace – Charis practices Aesthetic Medicine and only that. She doesn’t have a full time job somewhere else – Grace keeps her plenty busy, and she does injectables (Botox, fillers) all day long. She doesn’t report to the Operating Room for a breast augmentation or rhinoplasty, there’s no “injectable day” once a week, or worse – once per month! Additionally she performs all the laser hair removal and medical grade skincare at Grace Medical Aesthetics.

Concierge Aesthetics:

The concept of concierge medicine has become quite the rage. Clients want to have their practitioner available to them – for questions, concerns, sometimes just for a second opinion. When you call Grace Medical Aesthetics, you speak directly to Charis – though at times you may reach Darling Bridget or The Lovely Sandra; Charis is just a quick phone call away. When you receive a treatment – you are always given a cell number on which you can reach Charis by text or phone at any time of day (or night, respectfully) for a quick yet thorough reply. You will never be triaged to a secretary or nurse who doesn’t know you or who hasn’t treated you – it will always be Charis. Additionally, Charis is available for at home consultation and treatment. That’s the beauty of concierge aesthetics!

 
 
 
 

**Results may vary. Unless noted otherwise, testimonials provided for Grace Medical Aesthetics are patients of Grace Medical Aesthetics who have undergone completed treatment(s.) Before and after images reflect real results from real patients, although individual results may vary. Statements estimating treatment duration and the amount of treatments required are based on the typical experience of patients of Grace Medical Aesthetics, however, duration and amount of treatments needed may vary per client. A guarantee is neither provided nor implied.