Dr Paula Carmichael

Wellness & Aesthetics



What is PRF?

Platelet rich plasma fibrin (PRF) treatments are something unique that we offer. In essence, we take an individual’s own blood and spin it in a centrifuge, separating the red cells from the plasma. The plasma is rich with growth factors that can be used to stimulate cell production and healing. This substance can then be used in a number of different ways to stimulate healing in joints and soft tissues, as well as collagen production in the skin.

What is PRF used for?

Exposure to PRF will improve the appearance and structure of your skin by stimulating the body’s natural collagen production. We are able to modify the consistency of PRF such that it can be applied to the skin’s surface as part of micro-needling, or injected to provide a similar effect as synthetic filler.

PRF can be used on joint and soft tissue injuries. PRF can be injected into the joint space to stimulate the body’s healing of damaged joint structures. It can also be injected over injured tendons to help promote healing. PRF injections can also be used in male pattern baldness ("receding hair-line") and on "bald spots" to help stimulate hair growth.

What is treatment like?

You will have an initial consultation with Dr. Carmichael. If you are interested in PRF for your skin, we will take a series of photos and review your options. PRF facials (often referred to as “Vampire Facials”) are done by our medical assistant, Jessica. For best results, we usually recommend a monthly facial, for a total of 6 months. Jessica will draw your blood and prepare it. While the blood is prepared, we apply numbing cream to the face. This is removed and the skin thoroughly cleaned, and then Jessica does micro-needling with a special pen over the surface of the skin. PRF is applied during the needling process to allow good penetration. Sometimes there is a little blood, but when the facial is finished, your skin will look shiny and tight. You may notice some tiny red dots from the pen, but these fade quickly. The skin may look a little sun-burned for the first 24 hours. It is important to remain out of the sun after treatment, and the next day, continue applying your regular daily sunscreen. You will find the skin has a refreshed and brighter appearance.

PRF can be used as a filler (biofiller), and the injection process is very similar to that for the synthetic hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers. Immediately after injection, there may be a bit more swelling associated with PRF in the first 24 hours. Like the HA fillers, the effects are immediate, but they do not last as long. PRF fillers will last about 6 months, but they provide more stimulation of your natural collagen, so your skin will maintain a more healthy glow.

PRF injections into arthritic joints can help decrease pain and stimulate collagen, and may lead to some repair within the joint space. The recommendation is for 3 injections into the affected joint, one month apart. There may be an increase in discomfort for the first few days after injection, but this is generally quite well managed with acetaminophen.

PRF for chronic soft tissue injuries has a similar treatment recommendation as for joints. A series of 3 injections over 3 months will give the best results. Unlike joints, however, there is only minimal (if any) increase in pain in the days following injection.