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When Can I Wash My Face After PRP Microneedling?

Microneedling with PRP is one of the most common procedures to help reinvigorate the appearance of the skin. Also known as a vampire facial, people who want to look younger and more vibrant can undergo recurring treatments. But despite the popularity of vampire facial treatments, many of these patients are still confused about the proper aftercare regimen.

So how long do you have to wait before you can wash your face after PRP microneedling? Most experts advise waiting at least 8 hours after treatment. It’s also crucial to have proper aftercare to prevent skin irritation and other harsh side effects. If side effects don’t resolve within 7 to 14 days, consult your doctor right away.

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PRP Microneedling Aftercare Tips

There are lifestyle practices you can do to ensure maximum healing and recovery. You can start by incorporating these slowly into your daily routines. Make sure to contact your doctor about applying topical creams. Watch out for signs of infection, such as intense pain, fever, and leakage around the injection site.

1. Gently Wash Your Face With Lukewarm Water After 8 Hours

It’s advisable to wait at least 8 hours before you wash your face after PRP microneedling. By this time, your body will have enough time for slight recovery. Make sure that you only use lukewarm water to wash your face. Using hot or cold water might irritate the skin and interfere with the healing process.

After 48 hours, you may use a gentle cleanser to help with removing dirt and grime. Use light, circular motions to apply the cleanser. Additionally, avoid vigorous rubbing as this can make the swelling worse at the treatment site. Pat gently with a clean towel after washing your face. Make sure to dry the towel properly to avoid microbial growth.

Don’t use harsh chemicals like toners or scrubs, as these may irritate the skin further. Using a brush on the face may also worsen swelling and redness. After 4 days have passed since the procedure, you can talk to your doctor about resuming your usual skincare routine.

2. Rest After the PRP Microneedling Procedure

The recovery period after a session of PRP microneedling treatment only takes 1 to 2 days. Elevate your head and sleep on your back at nighttime to ease the pain. Sleeping on your sides may place pressure on the face. During the recovery period, avoid hot showers to prevent interference with the PRP treatment. Make sure to wait until you recover before receiving other treatments like laser skin resurfacing or dermal fillers.

You can return to work 48 hours after a PRP injection. Take care not to overexert yourself to avoid harsher side effects. Doctors typically advise you to move around after resting for a day. If you’re returning to the office, try to walk around every hour to stimulate healthy blood circulation. You may also take the stairs instead of the elevator to get in some physical activity before work.

3. Use Serum Antioxidants

Once you’ve started washing the skin with a light cleanser, you can use serums to hydrate and enrich the skin. For best results, you can look for serums that have Vitamin E as an active ingredient. Vitamin E is known for promoting skin restoration and for creating a vibrant and younger look.

When you use serums, creams, and other topical skin care products, make sure to avoid those that have retinol. While a beneficial ingredient for skin types, retinol can irritate the face. After microneedling, your face is more sensitive. Retinol can cause discoloration, redness, and even itchiness when applying it to the skin.

Wait until 2 to 4 days before applying moisturizer to the skin. Once it’s safe to apply a moisturizer, look for products with hyaluronic acid or gentle aquaphor. A moisturizer that has exfoliating agents might be too harsh on the skin. Like retinols, exfoliants can also cause redness on the skin. If you don’t have a preferred moisturizer or your doctor advises against it, ask about using coconut oil to improve skin texture.

4. Avoid Wearing Makeup

While makeup and other cosmetics can help improve your appearance, they can also cause more skin irritation. Patients should stick to using gentle cleansers in the first week, using only lukewarm water to avoid skin irritation. Microneedling itself already causes redness, so applying harsher chemicals may worsen irritation. You may also feel a burning sensation if you apply makeup near the treated area.

Some specialists recommend the use of makeup products with mineral powder. The mineral powder may help conceal the redness without irritating the skin. To ensure the safety of the product, you can ask your dermatologist about the ingredients. When you get approval to use the product, make sure to sanitize your hands before application.

5. Wear Sunscreen

Sunscreen should be part of everyone’s routine. Applying it to the face can minimize the risks of sunburn. After a PRP facial, the skin becomes even more sensitive to sunlight. A sunscreen with at least SPF 50 can help protect the face from harsh rays during work hours.

You can also look for a sunscreen with ingredients aimed at sensitive skin. Some products are specifically formulated for people who underwent a medical procedure. Try to check if the label has a formulation against ultraviolet A and high-energy visible light, both of which are harmful to the skin. Beta-glucan and levomenol are also some ingredients that protect sensitive skin from irritants.

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6. Refrain from Heavy Exercise

Strenuous exercises, such as weightlifting, circuit training, and high-intensity workouts should be avoided in the first few days after the procedure. There are movements that will exacerbate pain and swelling, so consult with your doctor about your plans to return to the gym. Yoga, walking, and other light exercises can also help with easing you back into exercise without tiring yourself too much.

In the first few days, it’s better to avoid sweaty exercise to prevent bacterial infection. If you have a gym membership, you can also work with your trainer to formulate a low-intensity regimen. Tell them about your microneedling procedure and the side effects you want to avoid. If your trainer advises you to stay at home, verify which movements can help you burn calories without overexertion.

7. Don’t Take Blood-Thinning Medications

Blood-thinning medications are used to protect against cardiovascular illnesses. These medications come in two categories—anticoagulants and antiplatelets. Both help the body regulate blood circulation by minimizing the formation of blood clots.

Anticoagulants work by suppressing certain proteins. Common anticoagulants include dabigatran, apixaban, and rivaroxaban. On the other hand, antiplatelets focus on disrupting platelets from sticking together and forming a clot. Some antiplatelets include ticagrelor, ASA, and prasugrel. Most PRP specialists advise against taking blood-thinners before a scheduled skin treatment.

Before you stop taking these, make sure you consult with your primary care provider. You should know if you’re still a suitable candidate for PRP injections, as stopping the medication may cause more significant issues for patients. The specialist performing the microneedling procedure should also know if you have underlying medical conditions.

8. Don’t Drink Alcohol Beverages for 2 Weeks

Alcohol is known to interfere with the body’s healing capabilities. It also weakens platelet production in the body, which can make it difficult for the procedure to maximize its effects. Additionally, alcohol may contribute to dehydration and fatigue during the recovery period. Bruises may also develop easier if you decide to drink alcohol before 14 days have passed.

9. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eating healthy can help your body recover its strength and heal faster after microneedling. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient after microneedling since it has antioxidant properties. Lean meat is also a great source of protein, as well as fish. Avoid greasy food items like burgers and french fries.

If you’re looking to follow a specific diet, something similar to the Mediterranean diet will do. Cut back on sugary and salty food to make the recovery process faster and easier. You can also eat eggs, turmeric, and ginger for their nutritional value.

More specifically, folate-rich food items can aid the body’s tissue growth and repair mechanisms. Other food items that can help with your recovery period after PRP therapy include:

  • Oranges
  • Chia and sunflower seeds
  • Spinach
  • Bananas and apple
  • Grass-fed beef and bacon
  • Tilapia

If these food items are too difficult for you to purchase, you can get snacks that are fortified with folate. These include cereal bars, cookies, and pastries labeled as “folate-enriched.” Additionally, you can benefit from iron-rich food, such as spinach, pasta, and beef liver. These may help the body regenerate and repair cells at a faster rate.

10. Drink Enough Water

Staying hydrated is another healthy habit you should incorporate into your lifestyle. The recommended amount for adults is 2 liters per day, excluding tea, coffee, and fruit juice. Getting enough water will help relieve swelling around the area. Water also helps the body produce more platelets before and after the procedure.

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