Quick-paced innovation in cosmetic procedures is resulting in fewer invasive treatments and more natural results. The number of facelifts performed in the US has been steadily declining, even as more patients are visiting physicians for anti-aging solutions. As fillers, lasers and peels become more sophisticated, there is less need for full-overhaul type of procedures.
At ZO Skin Centre® by Zein Obagi MD, we are using one procedure that utilizes the natural ability of the body to heal wounds to fight skin aging from the inside out. Social media has dubbed it the Vampire Facial, which is really the nickname for microneedling.
Microneedling is an in-office procedure. It’s a gradual process; we don’t plan for one session, we always schedule 2 – 4 sessions depending on each patient’s needs. In the office, we’ll start with a numbing cream to minimize discomfort. While the patient is numbing, we’ll do an IV site and pull a vial of the patient’s blood. Then we’ll use the same site for an IV therapy, which includes a hydration bag and up to 10 vitamins and nutrients specifically selected for each unique patient. When the treatment area is fully numbed, microneedling starts with a sophisticated hand-held device that punctures the top layer of skin with tiny fine needles, thousands and thousands of times. This creates a landscape of many micro channels in the skin. This process alone stimulates the skin’s natural ability to heal itself and stimulate collagen and elastin, a key part of our skin that begins to reduce as we age.
We get heightened results using the patient’s own blood. It is placed in a centrifuge to separate the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) from the red blood cells. Platelet Rich Plasma contains a high concentration of the body’s own growth factors that stimulate a healing response. It’s the yellowish color fluid that the body produces in response to burns, scraps and other insults to the skin. The plasma is applied to the micro channels created by the microneedling, activating them to stimulate new collagen. It also triggers fibroblasts to produce elastin and glycosaminoglycan (natural hydrators such as hyaluronic acid). It may also be injected in other areas to stimulate the same collagen and elastin growth to lax and aging sites. In this controlled process, the PRP is farmed from the patient to help the patient’s wounded skin heal better and stronger resulting in overall complexion texture and firmness of the skin.
The treatment takes about an hour but may be combined with a laser treatment as well. Clear + Brilliant Laser is a great complement to microneedling. The additional 10-20 minutes under the laser leave the skin feeling smoother, younger and give that radiant glow.
Although this is minimally invasive, you do need to plan ahead. You’ll leave the office with dark red bruised marks and may not apply sunscreen or any make-up for at least 48 hours. This will give way to dry and lightly peeling skin. Approximately a week later appearance should return to normal. No need to hide in the house while healing, most patients are out and about. Just keep that skin covered and protected from the sun and look forward to a brighter renewed natural glow that should last several years.