We are all about the latest and most innovative ways to take care of your skin. While PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is not a particularly ‘new’ technology (it has been used to treat sports injuries for years), it is making a resurgence in the cosmetic industry as an effective acne scar treatment.
First and foremost, what is acne? Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest and upper arms. Acne occurs when oil glands of the skin become clogged.
Atrophic acne scar treatment depends on a number of factors including, the type of acne scarring and hereditary issues such as hyperpigmentation. What we do know is that scarring occurs early in acne and relates to severity and delay before treatment.
The aftermath of active acne can result in rolling scars, ice-pick scars, boxcar scars and keloid scars.
Rolling scars occur when skin heals with an uneven, wavy contour after moderate to severe acne.
Ice-pick Scars are deep and narrow, they are more severe than other types of acne scars.
Boxcar scars have a wider, depressed scar with well-defined edges.
Keloid Scars are enlarged, raised scars that can be pink, red or darker than the surrounding skin.
Procedure: PRP Facial (or Plasma Skin Resurfacing)
A small amount of blood is taken from your arm (approximately 20ml) and placed into a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma from the red and white blood cells. The platelets are loaded with proteins called ‘growth factors’ used to stimulate skin healing and collagen production.
The plasma is applied to the skin (like moisturiser) and then we use a special tool to create several, micro-wounds on the scar. These tiny injuries heal within a couple of days and new collagen is formed inside of the scar. As the new collagen forms it reduces the scar’s depth. The combined therapy of PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and skin needling, can also reduce the discolouration associated with scarring by encouraging old skin cells to shed.
Before treatment, a topical numbing cream is applied to reduce any discomfort. The process takes about 40 minutes and treatments are recommended every four to six weeks for acne correction.
While the skin is healing, mild redness (like a sunburn) may persist for 2-3 days. It is expected to have some skin flaking as the outer layer of the skin begins to shed, lasting for up to 10 days. During healing and post-treatment, it is important to limit sun exposure and wear SPF.
Patients with active acne are not suitable for this treatment and here’s why: If we use skin needling over active acne it is likely that we are spreading the bacteria to other areas of the face or body.