What is the Difference Between PRP and PRF?

In the last few years, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has become synonymous with the ability to refresh the skin dramatically, especially when paired with microneedling. Typically known as a Vampire Facial, this skin-rejuvenating treatment can also work wonders for jumpstarting hair growth and stimulating wound healing. But like all things in the world of aesthetics, innovation never sleeps, leading to more uses for PRP and the like to become mainstream beauty treatments. While PRP has many benefits, its sister treatment, platelet-rich fibrin (PRF), is gaining traction as an equally effective procedure. While the two are similar, the treatments have some significant differences. Here’s everything you need to know about PRP and PRF to decide which is best for you.

What is PRP and PRF?

Simply put, PRP and PRF are commonly performed skin rejuvenating treatments that can be used for many purposes. PRP has a longstanding track record of improving hair growth and skin texture, treating orthopedic injuries, and wound healing. In contrast, PRF is an advanced method that helps new collagen formation and increased tissue healing.

The Similarities Between PRP and PRF

There are plenty of similarities between the platelet-based treatments PRP and PRF, including:

  • Both are nonsurgical treatments that are safe with little downtime or side effects.
  • Blood draws are used for PRP and PRF, which are then spun down and separated with a centrifuge.
  • Platelets within the blood are like the secret sauce in both PRP and PRF.
  • Both treatments are rich in proteins that help speed healing and regenerate treated areas.
  • PRP and PRF serums are administered through a needle, either by injections or microneedling, which is more commonly performed.
  • The treatment targets the superficial and deeper layers of skin to regenerate the skin at various levels and repair it from the inside out.
  • A number of areas can be treated with PRP and PRF, including the forehead, cheeks, jowls, jawline, lips, under the eyes, chest, neck, breast, arms, thighs, and scalp. Both can be used for sexual rejuvenation and enhancement in both men and women.

Despite the various uses of PRP and PRF, their most common practices are for skin rejuvenation and hair growth. When used to rejuvenate the skin, the skin appears more youthful. 

Microneedling is commonly performed to deliver the PRP or PRF serum into the skin. This allows the platelet-rich serums to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, improve the skin’s tone and texture, boost collagen, and even diminish scars. The result is healthy, younger-looking skin that boasts a natural glow.

The Differences Between PRP and PRF

Just like how there are many parallels between the two, there are also several differences, such as:

  • The details of the centrifuge process which is slightly different between the two. PRF spins slower than PRP, so there is less damage to the blood cells.
  • The contents of the final serum are different. PRP contains plasma, while PRF contains fibrin, giving each healing properties. PRF contains more growth factors and proteins, and regenerative stem cells.
  • The anticoagulant factor. PRP is added to a vial containing anticoagulants to prevent blood clotting when injected. PRF doesn’t have anticoagulants.
  • The release of growth factors. Both PRP and PRF release growth factors slowly. PRP releases them over a few hours, while PRF does it for up to a week. 
  • PRP is used as a facial treatment with microneedling, while PRF is often injected as a natural alternative to filler. PRF provides the skin with more volume and a slow release of growth factors.

The Final Serum

After the blood is centrifuged, it is made into a serum to be injected or microneedled into the skin. The PRF serum contains a higher concentration of proteins than PRP.

Still, the serums create similar results when used on the face or body or for hair loss and sexual rejuvenation. Some people feel that because PRF is more potent, it’s more effective since it has a better supply of plasma, growth factors, white blood cells, and stem cells. We recommend a consultation with our team to determine which treatment is best for you.

The Treatment Areas

Both are used to improve the appearance of the skin so that it looks younger, but the treatments are also helpful for regrowing hair, treating stretch marks, and enhancing sexual function.

Some skin-related issues that PRP and PRF can improve include:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Mild skin laxity
  • Uneven color and texture of the skin
  • Dullness
  • Acne scars
  • Enlarged pores
  • A lack of volume

The Results

Both don’t require any downtime or recovery. While some people may have mild pain, some redness, bruising, itching, or scabs at the treatment site for a day or two, particularly when using microneedling. Most people can resume their normal activities with little to no interference. However, planning any cosmetic procedure well before a big event or travel plans is always best.

You may be able to see the first signs of results from your treatment in about one to three months and the final results around the six-month mark. The number of treatments varies from person to person, but most respond best to at least three sessions about four weeks apart. The results from PRP and PRF treatments are often long-lasting, but annual maintenance treatments may be recommended to keep your skin looking fresh and glowy.

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Download our exclusive Charette Cosmetics Services & Pricing Guide to learn more about our service menu & treatment prices.