Starting with the bronze-skinned era of the 1970’s, recent generations have placed great emphasis on golden skin. On one hand, a nice tan could mean you’ve gotten plenty of vitamin D, fresh air, and (hopefully) exercise outdoors. On the other hand, rates of melanoma – the deadliest skin cancer – have tripled in the last three decades.
Current generations may still appreciate sun-kissed skin as much as previous decades, but they are also much more informed about the dangers. Thus, they use sunblock and limit their exposure much more effectively than in the 1970’s – when teenagers laid out soaked in baby oil for hours with a boom box.
While it isn’t always immediate obvious, all that sun-soaking can really do a number on your skin. Sun damage can be anything from excessive wrinkling, perpetual dark spots, or just plain premature aging – if you’re lucky enough to avoid skin cancer and all of its effects.
Although many people are stating this wasn’t known back in the 70’s or even the 80’s, it should have always been common sense. Think about the cliché image of a leathery-skinned old farmer. How do you think he got that way?
The good news, however, is that there is some hope for your skin. There are some procedures which have the ability to reverse at last some of the significant damage to your skin. Foremost among these is Microneedling PRP.
Although many are under the assumption this microneedling trend is brand new, it’s really not. In fact, it has its origins deeply rooted in ancient Chinese medicine with the art of acupuncture.
During microneedling a super-thin needle no larger than an average strand of hair punctures the skin 1K times per minute. These miniscule, barely noticeable puncture holes tell your body it has been injured – like when you scrape your elbow or knees riding a bike as a kid. The immune system then reacts by “healing” the area. This results in healthier skin after.
It sounds painful, but most patients state there is only a mild discomfort after and only pressure during. To be on the safe side, most doctors utilize a numbing gel prior to beginning to further minimize any discomfort or pain which may be experienced.
The addition of PRP to the microneedling process is fairly new, and its height to popularity has largely been credited to Kim Kardashian and her Instagram post. Whatever the reason, it has been proven to have considerable additional benefits when combined with the already effective method of microneedling.
PRP stand for “Platelet Rich Plasma.” During this part of the procedure, a patient has a small vial of their blood drawn. Using a special separator gel and a spinning machine, the plasma is separated from the rest of the blood. This plasma, rich in growth hormones, is delivered to the face where microneedling has occurred. Alternatively, it may be placed on the skin prior to microneedling.
It has been shown that using PRP renders microneedling as much a 40% more effective at increasing collagen, and also speeds up the healing process considerably. This ultimately results in two large benefits: (1) less microneedling procedures are needed to obtain maximum results, and (2) less downtime is required after each session.