Look Good & Feel Great At Any Age

Jane Iredale

Appearance Medicine, Beauty

What Is Platelet Rich Plasma Skin Rejuvenation (PRP)?

We’ve been hearing a lot about the ‘Vampire Facelift’ lately so we thought we’d give you the low down again.

Say what? We know. You might have heard (or seen) Kim Kardashian having it done for an episode of her reality show. It’s actually called Platelet Rich Plasma Skin Rejuvenation (PRP).  On the show they called it the Blood Facial and it’s also often called as the Vampire Facelift. Why? Because it uses your own blood. But let’s take away all the sensationalism for a minute. PRP is a very valid, anti aging treatment that works. . Our resident cosmetic medicine specialist, Dr Joanna Romanowska from Auckland’s Clinic 42, gives you the ins and outs.

Dr Jo


“I think this is a fantastic treatment and one of the best we have. It’s natural and gives very good results. It does exactly what it claims. Of course we can’t guarantee fantastic results because everyone is different, but in my experience it does exactly what it claims” – Dr Joanna



What is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma is used to describe blood plasma that’s rich in platelets and growth factors. The Vampire Facelift is a dramatic label for it as it’s actually a very natural treatment. In fact, it’s possibly the most natural beauty treatment you can have. It uses your own blood and stimulates new cell growth and improves cell turnover wherever it’s used. PRP has been used in sports medicine and the orthopaedic field for about 15 years. It’s used for the treatment of injuries to joints, ligaments and tendons as well as enhancing wound healing. It also improves the effectiveness of skin graft. It’s been used as an anti aging treatment for about nine years, and has been available in New Zealand for four years. I have to say the advances in anti aging and cosmetic medicine in the last 10 years have been exponential. Because we’re using the patient’s own plasma the treatment is completely autologous (which means it comes from your own body) so the risk of any reaction or side effects is absolutely minimal; perhaps a little bit of puffiness and the possibility of a little bruising.

What happens during treatment?

Treatment begins with the application of a local anaesthetic cream to the area that’s going to be worked on. Then, just like a medical blood test, we take some blood from your arm. The blood is put in what is called a centrifuge machine, which spins it and separates the red blood cells from the clear plasma.

We only use the clear plasma to treat. This is because it is the plasma that has the platelets and a high concentration of growth factors in it.  When it is used in the orthopaedic arena they don’t spin it and the red blood cells can look bluish through the skin, a bit like a bruise. This doesn’t matter in a joint, but when it’s used on the face it does. That’s why we spin it.

We injected the plasma into the treatment area. It used to be that you needed to have three treatments at monthly intervals but with the new Angel machine you only need one as it can take a larger amount of blood and spin it down more effectively.

When can we see results?

Unlike fillers or surgery results aren’t instant. It can take four to six months for the results to really kick in, but often you can see some improvement within weeks and the improvements continue for some months.

How long do the effects last?

It’s difficult to say at this point but a minimum of two years and possibly up to four. At the same time the aging process continues. Younger people just tend to use it as a one-off. Older people might choose to have top ups.

Where can PRP be used?

We typically use PRP where the skin texture has deteriorated. Loose and crepey skin responds very well to this treatment. It’s particularly good for areas of the face that are difficult to treat with other modalities such as the delicate eye area, the neck, and smoker’s lines. Anywhere where the skin is crepey and has no volume.

In reality PRP can be used anywhere to improve the skin texture: neck, décolletage, backs of the hands, arms, knees. Limitations are due to cost rather than physiology.

How much does PRP cost?

At Clinic 32 we charge $2,000. This includes everything: anaesthetic, spinning, treatment. It also treats a large area such as the neck and décolletage.

You can find Clinic 42 here

Pic via nydailynews.com

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