Micro-needling is a procedure that micro-injures the skin triggering it to naturally heal and repair which in turn produces collagen and elastin. The procedure, especially when combined with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), improves fine lines and wrinkles, broken capillaries and large pores, skin thinning, scars and stretch marks, rendering the face an overall glow and youthful appearance.
Micro-needling with PRP is commonly known as a “vampire facial” but that name sounds too sensational to me. However, the name is very catchy so I understand why some practices use the name.
My skin, due to the fractional CO2 laser I had done in December 2014 and PRP injections, has reached… perfection! Nonetheless, while I know I can’t stop aging, I am keen on learning how to delay and reduce the appearance of aging on my face and body. So I tried micro-needling with PRP at the Hunstad Kortesis Plastic Surgery + Med Spa.
Micro-needling can be performed with a “cocktail” of vitamins and anti-aging serums applied to your skin or with platelet rich plasma (PRP) that is derived from your own blood. I decided to use the plasma because, since the plasma comes from my body, there’s no potential for an adverse reaction and PRP is rich in growth factors which further speed up the skin repair process and collagen production.
Micro-needling is an easy procedure with relatively no downtime. Here are the steps my treatment followed:
After I removed my earrings and pinned my hair back, my aesthetician applied numbing cream on my face and left my face to numb for 30 minutes.
2. Youth Is in My Blood
Next the nurse drew my blood. Blood drawing always gives me the most anxiety because it can be painful and needles always make me faint. To my pleasant surprise, other than a quick pinch right when the needle went in, getting my blood drawn was easy, quick and painless. Are you wondering why I have chocolate in my lap? Over the years I’ve learned that if I eat sugar while getting a needle in me, I am less likely to faint. Therefore before I get any injections, I start munching on chocolate. It works like a wonder!
Step 3. Spinning
After my blood is drawn, it is placed in a centrifuge that spins it for 6 minutes to separate the plasma from the blood. The plasma is rich in platelets and growth factors and is gold in color, therefore, some doctors call it “liquid gold.”
Step 4. Micro-Needling
Micro-needling feels similar to microdermabrasion, just a bit more abrasive and it takes no more than 20 minutes to complete. First the aesthetician applies the plasma over a section of your face, then runs the micro-pen over that area, thus the plasma sips into your skin through all the tiny punctures the micro-pen made. This sequence continues until the entire face is treated.
My face was very numb so I felt no pain just some discomfort in a few spots and pain in one area. Around my mouth and underneath my eyes the aesthetician did what’s called “stamping,” meaning she took the needle point and pressed from spot to spot across the area.
The only time I felt pain was during “stamping“ underneath my lower lip but it only lasted for 5 seconds. I felt discomfort during “stamping” underneath my eyes and around my temples. As you can see in the picture, I’m pursing my lips as the aesthetician started to approach my temples. At the end, my face started to get some swelling and redness and I had needle point bleeding mainly across my forehead.
Step 5. Injection Time
Micro-needling normally ends with Step 4, but there was some of my plasma left so the nurse injected it into my face. Injections with PRP are painful, actually they sting rather than causing pain, but I’ve learned to ask for the plasma to be mixed with numbing and the level of pain has decreased by at least 80%.
End of My Appointment
By the time my appointment ended, my face was red and had lots of swelling. My face was still very numb. It took a good 15 minutes to be able to smile naturally.
The post-treatment instructions I received were simple. I had to stay out of the sun for 4 days, wear sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and not wash my face until morning (I disregarded this last instruction because I love the feeling of a clean face when I go to bed). I had micro-needling done on a Thursday and on Saturday I was able to resume my normal skin care routine, including using my Clarisonic brush and Retin-A.
The above picture is 15 minutes after my appointment. As you can see the swelling and redness was quickly going down.
By bedtime all the redness has gone away and whatever swelling was left was hardly noticeable. I had some pin point spots on my forehead and on one spot on my nose and my face had a general feeling of soreness. Touching my face increased the soreness I felt, but once I finished washing it and applying my moisturizer, the skin calmed down.
The next day except a few pin point red spots on my forehead, some mild soreness of the face and slight swelling, my skin felt normal and wonderful. I could engage in any activity except anything that involved sweating because sweat made my face sting due to all the needle points made into the skin. That evening I took my dogs for a walk and, being a hot summer day, as soon as my face felt a bit of sweat, my skin starting stinging.
Beyond the obvious anti-aging effects of micro-needling and of everything I do for my skin, do you know what’s of most value to me? The feeling of beauty and youth they offer me. Not that long ago I NEVER had the confidence to take a selfie wearing no makeup. Now in this article alone I have 8 pictures of myself with no make up on. My skin feels fresh and youthful.
It is wonderful to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and see beautiful and youthful skin. I’m grateful that I have the financial ability to afford all these treatments and that I found the Hunstad Kortesis Plastic Surgery + MedSpa to trust them with my face and my body.
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