Vertical Lip Lines and Cheek Creases Meet Their Match: PRP + Microneedling
When husband was out of town a few weeks back, I had a rare opportunity to dish with my favorite local media gals for a ladies who lunch Sunday sesh at Sails Restaurant. (Yes they’re my client and if you’ve yet to visit, go!)
Given our industry, and that, age-wise, we’re all north of 50, the topic of staying relevant and youthful came up as did the mention of all the bad plastic surgery and botched/overplayed fillers we see with some of our SWFL sisters.
I asked my pal Beth how she kept her skin so supple despite decades here, as well as growing up in Miami. She mentioned microneedling, a subject I should know, but really didn’t.
BECAUSE IT KINDA FREAKS ME OUT.
Her go-to pro at Naples Skin Clinic is Bita Ardakani- Akrawi, whose lengthy credentials include PA-C (in the U.S., PAs are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine); MPH (Master’s in Public Health from UCLA); and medical esthetic provider-certified (MEP-C).
I asked for Bita’s number to hear more.
After researching a bit about Bita, I discovered a local story on how she treats Florida-aging skin with a combo of microneedling and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma).
I then Googled PRP and was quite surprised that I’d missed the Kourtney and Kim Take Miami episode when Kim does this procedure, trademarked as the “Vampire Facial” by the doctor Bita studied with. She assured me that her patients typically leave with oh-so-minor spots that disappear rather quickly, turning to a gorgeous glow overnight — give or take a day.
While this sounds somewhat radical, PRP has been used by physicians since the 1930s to treat burns and speed healing from surgery. It’s also used for regrowing hair.
I confessed my ambivalence (or rather, fear) to Bita, whose clientele consists primarily of Naples women between the ages of 50 - 75, many who hate the vertical lines invading the lower half of their faces. I’m just guessing, but the looks of it, it seems our fair-haired readers may be more likely to suffer at the lower end of that age range.
“Many of my clients want instant gratification via fillers,” says Bita. “Unfortunately, you can’t fill these wrinkles that well and it would take upwards of $2000-$3000 of syringes to try. It’s better to fix the skin’s foundation before filling the face. After two or three sessions, years of bad habits and environmental damage are noticeably reduced.”
Having served as a trainer and educator for Merz (the manufacturer of Radiesse) — this woman knows her fillers.
“We’re basically causing your face to fall on your face. The way we do it is by injecting the plasma into the skin, causing the body to secrete a wound-healing liquid. The second part of the treatment is microneedling. Fusing the needles with your own plasma can also prevent future wrinkles as well as treat scarring.“
I asked Bita to walk me through a procedure, and the following is a basic roadmap:
WHAT TO EXPECT
Step 1: “We take the patient’s blood (5 to 10 ml), then spin it in a Regenlab centrifuge yielding parts-per-million worth of PRP.” After 10 minutes, it separates into 3 layers: plasma, which Bita calls “liquid gold” — activating a wound-healing cascade (the yellow gooey stuff which sends an SOS alarm to heal and repair with new collagen and stem-cells); the second tier plasma; the third layer is discarded.
Step 2: After anesthetizing the face with lidocaine cream, Bita then cleans and sterilizes the treatment area with alcohol and Betadyne before applying peeling cream to rid the skin of dead dead debris.
Step 3: The golden part of your plasma is injected all over your face (approximately a dozen shots) into the mid-dermis where collagen regenesis happens.
Step 4: The not-so-rich (second tier) plasma is then applied topically as a serum.
Step 5: Then she starts her microneedling magic, using a roller apparatus with very fine, short needles.
“This works for women of all colors, though if you’ve been treated with chemotherapy within the past 5 years, we would use a different plant-based serum because your plasma is temporarily damaged,” said Bita, adding, “If you just want to do the microneedling without the PRP, we’ll use a anti-oxidant serum (her own medical-grade professional line Re-pair Skin face and eye serum, or Re-pair infused with Vitamin C) targeting your specific issues - whether that’s discoloration, wrinkles or acne scars.”
WHAT TO KNOW
BEFORE YOU GO
Legalities require microneedling facilities to be physician-affiliated; Bita’s clinic is, but if it’s too far to travel to Naples, make sure wherever you head, your pro abides by those rules.
And…at $1299 per PRP+ microneedling treatment (recommended every 3 to 6 months) it’s a little pricey for moi, but my curiosity is certainly piqued.
Now if only I could find the courage!
When you’re ready to bid adieu to those cheeky crevices, you can reach Bita via 239.777.1370 or Bita@NaplesSkinClinic.com.