What To Expect: Microneedling with PRP (Collagen Induction Therapy)

I’ve had microneedling with PRP (platelet rich plasma) done several times and I can’t believe I haven’t posted about it. It’s time to change that!  I thought I’d share a few photos and my experience with microneedling.  This procedure helps to reduce visible scars and pores, reverse sun damage, and minimize fine lines.  I also find my skin is brighter and more even-toned from the treatments.  Sometimes, you may also hear the procedure referred to as collagen induction therapy with PRP.  

Preparing for microneedling with PRP

The procedure

First, my skin is cleansed and then numbing cream is applied all over my face.  The numbing process takes about 45 minutes.  In this photo of me, you can see gauze was set over the numbing cream and that just helps it penetrate more quickly.

Numbing for microneedling

The numbing cream is removed and then the PRP serum is applied to my skin.  PRP is a component of your blood that contains proteins, that help your blood to clot.  It also supports cell growth.  Read more about PRP here.

separating prp from blood

PRP Facial

After applying PRP, the microneeding device is moved across my face focusing on each area.  The depth and number of passes on each area of my skin varies.  Usually, on my forehead, the setting is .3mm – .5mm.  On other areas like my cheeks, the setting has been up to 2.5mm.  It really depends on the device being used and what I’m hoping to accomplish.

The procedure lasts about 30 minutes and since my skin is numb, I don’t feel anything.  When the numbing cream takes full effect, there’s no pain.  I just hear the vibration of the pen.  The pen has tiny needles that rapidly create microscopic holes in my skin.  I know this sounds creepy!  However, these injuries trigger an immune system response and your body will build new collagen to repair the damage.  Over a period of several weeks, the new cells yield a rejuvenated appearance and glow.

Most people repeat the microneedling 3 times every 4 to 6 weeks.  Sometimes the cycles are shorter or longer depending on each individual plan.  Also, I’ve seen procedures where PRP is injected into different areas of the face before microneedling but I haven’t tried this.  With my procedures, PRP is applied topically and the needles push the serum into the tiny channels that are opened in my skin.  Any device that has been used on me has sterile, individually-sealed, disposable needle cartridges so there is no risk of contamination.

Once my entire face is done, any remaining PRP is applied along with sunscreen so my delicate skin isn’t damaged on my way home. Despite being in the car with tinted windows, UVA rays can penetrate glass so sunscreen is really important to use.

skin redness micro needling

After the procedure

It’s recommended to leave the PRP on the skin for a minimum of four hours.  If it’s not bothersome, I leave it on overnight and wash it off the morning using a gentle cleanser.  Sometimes, I rinse my face before bed and moisturize my skin.  It just depends on my mood and how dry or tight my skin feels.
After Microneedling with PRP


red skin after microneedling PRP
After the microneedling, I have never experienced any pain but my skin feels hot and looks red, as if I have a sunburn.  For me, the sunburn feeling lasts up to about 24 hours.  My skin looks red for a couple days but usually within 48 hours, I can hide residual redness with makeup.

Some people get dry skin and flake or peel a few days after microneedling.  My skin doesn’t peel but it will get dry. The high rate of cell turnover causes flakey and peeling skin. Sometimes, I’ve experienced tiny pinpoint bruises and minor swelling.  The bruises are usually in bony areas like my forehead and fade away after a week.

I can have the same procedure done using the same settings by the same person and get a different response.  I guess I’m just weird.  Well, I know I am.  I tend to get hives easily from heat and trauma and this is the worst side effect experience but it doesn’t always happen.  One thing that I’ve always consistently experienced in the first 24 hours is redness and mild itching along with the sunburn sensation.

Within 3 or 4 days, my skin tone and texture is back to normal. If anything is still noticeable after a few days, it’s bruising but I don’t always bruise.  The results of the microneedling with PRP facials are noticeable to me after one session but I usually do several sessions a few weeks apart at the beginning of the year and a couple treatments for maintenance later in the year.  The photo below was taken about a week following an aggressive microneedling treatment.


I’ve read other posts about microneedling and people go on about the discomfort but the only real discomfort I’ve experienced is hives.  And hives are not a common reaction.

Post-procedure skincare products

I like using a gentle cleanser for a few days after my procedure.  Cetaphil is gentle and affordable and has always been recommended by skincare professionals.  For hydration, I apply hyaluronic acid.  My top pick is SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel.  This oil-free hydrator combines vitamin B5 with hyaluronic acid to help bind moisture to the skin.  Combining SkinCeuticals B5 Hydrating Gel with a moisturizer yields the best results.  Also, I’m a huge fan of SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum and you can read about the benefits of their C serum here.

The post-procedure moisturizer I’ve been using lately is a new product from Dermalogica called Intensive Moisture Balance.  And let me tell you, it seriously delivers moisturize to my skin.  I haven’t found a moisturizer that works better than this one.
Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance
I like the Dermalogica product after microneedling because it restores lipid balance to dry skin and helps repair the skin barrier.  Intensive Moisture Balance has prebiotic Chlorella Algae to rebalance the skin along with Echinacea.  The Centella Asiatica and Aloe Vera help in this moisturizer help soothe sensitized skin, deeply moisturize, and lock in hydration.   You’ll see what I mean when you try this moisturizer.  Also, there’s no fragrance or impurities that cause irritation.  My skin loves it.

Final thoughts on microneedling

The only thing that’s ever bothered me was when I got hives (and that’s temporary and uncommon).  The most aggressive treatments aren’t painful and I don’t find the side effects bothersome.  I usually do the procedure on a Friday or Saturday morning and have no worries about going to work on Monday.   I think people make a bigger deal out of this one than it actually is.  Granted, the thought of what’s happening may be a bit disturbing but it’s really no big deal.

Recommendations in Phoenix, AZ

If you live in the greater Phoenix area, I recommend two places for the procedure:

Shapiro Aesthetic Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Klinic (my home away from home) – Ask for Jacqueline at the Skin Klinic.  I’ve been a patient for 5+ years and I know everyone in the office.

Advantage Beauty and Health – I discovered this clinic through Local First Arizona and have visited a few times.  It’s a lovely clinic with charming and experienced staff.  They provide a wonderful microneedling with PRP treatment!  Ask for Emily.

Have you ever tried microneedling with PRP or are you planning to?  I would love to hear about your experience or concerns you have about the procedure.  Please leave a comment below.

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11 thoughts on “What To Expect: Microneedling with PRP (Collagen Induction Therapy)

  1. Hi! Did you ever do a second post about Fractora? I just had it done and learned that I wasn’t given pre-procedure info from dr office. My face is a mess and killing me right now 🙁

    1. No, but I did fully heal from the procedure. It just took time and I haven’t done it since. I’m so sorry I missed your comment. How are you doing with it now? Have you been improving?

  2. Thanks so much for giving such great and unbiased info – so glad I found your blog. I notice that you’ve had fractora in the past and are now seeming to favour microneedling. Can I ask why? Is it the long downtime and healing process that discourages you from undergoing Fractora again? I’m hesitating between both treatments and keep getting conflicting advice from the different clinics I visit – I suspect they push what they have. I’m in my early 40s and have perpetual acne (mild), some scarring, enlarged pores and blackheads with some laxity and lines forming. I was told fractora would be better to treat the active acne whereas microneedling could spread the acne? Both are supposed to help produce collagen to address the lines and laxity though I assume differently given the different depths they treat. Would appreciate your advice on your own experience, healing, and results.

    1. Hi! Thanks for visiting. Sorry for the delay in my reply. I’ve been busy and traveling for work. So, the micro needling seems to give quicker results with less downtime. It took a long time for the red marks from the Fractora to fade and even though I could cover them with makeup, it still bothered me. It would probably be beneficial to treat the acne separately and see a doctor that offers a variety of services because I have found they often want to sell what they have. If you were willing to take the downtime, you might to ask about ablative laser treatments.

  3. You have a beautiful glow to your face! I love such non-invasive treatments, and I feel like they actually do make a difference. Thank you for documenting the entire procedure from start to finish to final results, it really helps!

    Khanak x

  4. Wow, I didn’t even know this existed!

    I guess some people make a big deal out of it because they don’t know all the details and they’ve never had this kind of treatment. I guess when you actually have the treatment, you realise it’s not as as scary as it sounds. I do think this is quite a procedure, but I understand that, once you have it done, it’s just a number of different steps in a professional skin treatment. I think it would be good if people could try this procedure on a small piece of skin first – like a patch test!

    1. I’m always monitoring every new treatment or those that are getting really great feedback on the cosmetic surgery patient boards. Sometimes, I’ve had the procedure done more aggressive where there is a lot of blood but this one I showed is lighter. I think I have one posted on my Instagram feed further down that was a bit more intense! I’m sure medical providers would be willing to do a patch test. Maybe on the chest or back of the neck just to see how you feel about it. Some people have it done on their tummy for stretch marks so that is a place that would be inconspicuous to test.

      I’m so excited that I’m able to share new and exciting treatments! I will be doing AquaGold XT soon and I’ll share that too.

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