Updated: Oct 10, 2020
Are you a guy who is wondering if microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is right for you? It is a good question and the answer really depends on your skin situation. In order to provide better insight about this topic, we recently performed microneedling with PRP on a male client and asked us to give him his honest feedback. We also took before and after pictures to help chronicle his experience. But first, what is microneedling with PRP?
What is Microneedling with PRP
Microneedling with PRP is a procedure that aims to renew your skin and give you a more youthful appearance while restoring lost radiance. Microneedling entails using a medical grade precision tool (tiny needles) designed to stimulate your skin's natural ability to produce new collagen formation resulting in the creation of healthier skin. Additionally, during your service, your own blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge to extract the platelet-rich plasma, which is used as lubricant during the microneedling process. Essentially, during your treatment, your own PRP is pressed and soaked into your skin while microneedling creates the avenue for deeper saturation. The result is increased collagen production and improved blood flow to the tissue resulting in a renewing of your facial skin. Does microneedling hurt? When performed without topical numbing cream, yes! When performed with topical numbing cream, somewhat yes, but still tolerable. The areas that tend to be the most sensitive, even with numbing cream, are the upper lip, nose, and for some, the left side of the forehead. The actual process of microneedling takes about 15 minutes, if you can stick it out that long, you will appreciate the results.
Skincare differences between men and women
Is the approach to skincare different for men and women? The answer to this questions lies in the fact that men generally fall into one of two categories when it comes to skincare. We basically encounter two familiar stories from men when we talk with them about their approach to skincare. On the one hand, we see a number of men who generally have not cared for their skin in the sense that they do not actively follow any sort of anti-aging skincare regime. This group generally does not use any kind of creams or products other than perhaps a facial cleanser or bar of soap to care for their skin. Additionally, this group also reports being lax about applying sunscreen and admits to never having had any sort of past professional skincare treatment with an esthetician (such as a facial, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and so forth.)
The other group of men that we see report some effort to care for their skin, some effort to utilize a consistent anti-aging regime for their skin, and some effort to use sunscreen. In general however, this group also reports never having seen an esthetician for any sort of professional skin treatment. Please note, this does not apply to all men and is a generalized assessment based on the stories we commonly hear from men.
With this in mind, men are simply more likely to have a different experience with this treatment as opposed to women, who, on average, generally follow some kind of anti-aging skincare regime and have likely had treatments performed with an esthetician at some point. In other words, the canvas that the provider has to work with is different.
Does Microneedling with PRP work for men?
The short answer is, if you have never treated your skin in anyway, you may not be blown away with one Microneedling/PRP treatment. It is similar to body sculpting. If you have never worked to manage your diet and weight, one session of body sculpting is not going to zap all your fat away in one session. One microneedling with PRP treatment is not going to undo twenty years of neglected skin in one shot. It is just not realistic to have that kind of expectation. However, taking the first step with a microneedling/PRP treatment will produce more radiant and youthful skin, but it will not turn back the clock twenty years in one treatment. It will however, refresh the canvas and lay the groundwork to begin repairing the damage. Truth be told, you will most likely need a minimum of three treatments spaced across three month intervals to see real results.
What happened with our male client?
Our male client falls into the category of men who have never utilized an anti-aging skincare regime or sought the help of an esthetician. Our guy is a forty-year old Caucasian male with fair skin that works out regularly and eats a healthy diet, and works long hours and often gets limited sleep. He agreed to participate in this treatment with TSS for the purposes of writing this article. Additionally, TSS teamed up with The Organic Spa for this project.
First of all, we want to start by saying our male client was a trooper given the fact this was his first experience with any sort of skincare treatment! We brought him into a relaxing treatment room and began preparing his skin for the procedure. We prepped his skin with an organic gentle cleanser and exfoliation and then applied a topical numbing cream. The numbing cream takes, on average, about 20 minutes to take effect. During this time his blood was drawn and placed into a centrifuge to extract the PRP for the procedure. Additionally, while the numbing cream took effect, we gave him a head, neck, and shoulder massage. Then it was time for the microneedling.
For his procedure, we placed emphasis on his forehead and nasolabial folds. You can see the deep penetration of the microblading tool below.
As the microneedling process continued, our client tolerated the process well and experienced a good saturation effect. He admitted though that he was relieved to be finished--and we were not surprised given it was his first experience. It takes time to develop tolerance!
When our guy was done, we whisked him off for a CryoFacial to help cool his skin, promote blood flow, and further accelerate the healing process. "The good news," Dr. Shin explained, "is that the PRP will help your skin heal very fast. It is important to leave the PRP on overnight and rinse your skin with water only. You will be amazed at the healing effect overnight."
Our client spent about 12 minutes with Capital Cryo enjoying some cooling relief with a refreshing CryoFacial. The goal of the facial is to stimulate circulation in the face. By stimulating circulation in the face, cryotherapy works to tighten the skin and also helps stimulate collagen growth.
Post-treatment experience recovery from microneedling with PRP
In the days to follow, our patient sent us updates about his skin. He reported numerous ups and down with regard to the results, which are all normal as the skin renews itself. Our patient reported feeling dryness and peeling, all of which are completely normal.
In the days to follow, it is critical to keep the skin as moist as possible and avoid heavy sweating in the first 24 hours following the treatment. And of course, avoid pro-longed sun exposure and wear sunscreen outside. Below you can view the healing process across about 5 days.
At the start of this process, the patient came in with fairly deep forehead lines, crows feet, and nasolabial folds. While this treatment provided some improvement to the skin, we recommend at least two more treatments within the next six months to achieve the best results because the skin needs further reparative treatment. Overall, there is improved clarity and smoothness and solid benefits from the treatment. Our guy highly recommends Dr. Shin, The Skin Strategists, and the Organic Spa and plans to return for treatment!