Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) is a next-generation blood concentrate therapy with numerous potential benefits in the medical field. It can be administered in several ways, but PRF injections are a popular procedure for facial rejuvenation.

In this article, we’ll explore what PRF injections are, their costs, benefits, risks, and more.

Platelet-Rich Fibrin: A Quick Background

prf injections

Platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) commonly referred to as the second generation of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), is a fully autogenous biomaterial—which means it’s self-generated and involves the use of the patient’s own blood.[1] It has gained popularity in cosmetics and dermatology because of its potential benefits for regenerative procedures and facial rejuvenation. 

Historically, PRF was discovered in 2001 and was initially used to accelerate tissue healing in oral and maxillofacial surgery—a specialty of dentistry for the treatment of diseases, injuries, and defects affecting the mouth, jaw, face, and neck. Before PRF treatments, PRP is the platelet concentrate used for these kinds of procedures.

The difference is that PRP requires multistep centrifugation and the addition of anticoagulants. On the other hand, PRF is a natural fibrin matrix and doesn’t need anticoagulants. It’s simply centrifuged blood. Despite its simplified method of preparation, it still has higher concentrations of white blood cells and fibrin than PRP.[3]

What Is Platelet-Rich Fibrin Treatment?

prf injections

In dermatology and cosmetics, PRF has various benefits in facial rejuvenation, hair restoration, as well as wound healing. It’s a natural aesthetic treatment because it uses the patient’s stem cells and growth factors, hence reducing the possibility of allergic reactions. Doctors may administer PRF topically, as an injection, or in combination with other aesthetic procedures.

A common type of PRF procedure is what we call PRF injections. They are for facial treatment in areas that show the initial signs of aging such as the under-eyes, cheeks, and scalp.[4]

PRF Injections: How Does the Procedure Work?

Immediately before the treatment, the doctor will collect blood from the patient—just like a usual blood test. Then it’s placed in a centrifugal machine that separates the PRF from the other components of the blood. 

After spinning (at around 3,000 revolutions per minute) it settles into different layers—the lower part with red blood cells, the middle fraction containing the fibrin clot (PRF), and then the cellular plasma at the top. The PRF is harvested from the vial into a syringe for injection. Once it’s introduced back into the body, it helps achieve a more natural way of skin rejuvenation and healing.

In this process, the platelets attach to the fibrin network and release growth factors linked to creating new skin cells, collagen, and blood vessels. It will take approximately 15-20 minutes for the PRF to have the ideal gel-like consistency and the full duration of the procedure is around 45-60 minutes.[4]

PRF Injections for the Face

The most common reasons why patients seek treatments like PRF are for the enhancement of facial soft tissue volume, increased production of collagen, improvement of skin elasticity, and reduction of the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Some of the ideal areas of the face for PRF injections are cheeks, tear troughs, chin, nasolabial folds, and the hollows that may appear on your temple (the area on the side of the head behind the eye, between the forehead and the ear). The temporary effect of PRF can be its volumizing benefit, however, long-term effects may include improvement of skin quality and rejuvenation.[5]

PRF has shown success in providing skin rejuvenating effects because of its high concentration of fibrin and white blood cells. Aside from having PRF alone, patients may also opt to have it in combination with hyaluronic acid fillers for optimum results. It’s best to consult your doctor about which procedure to consider, so here are some options you might want to discuss with them:

Beyond Concealers: PRF Injections for Under Eye Treatment

The undereye skin and bone, or tear trough, is one of the most common targets for PRF injections. Aside from it being one of the first areas in the face to have visible signs of aging, undereye complaints such as dark circles or discoloration, puffy eyes, and wrinkles are very common.

In the clinical studies done, PRF has shown success in skin rejuvenation and improved discoloration of the undereye area after 3 treatments with 4-week intervals in between. The doctor injects PRF as an undereye filler, and it’s a safe and natural non-surgical procedure for undereye treatment.[6]

As with other aesthetic procedures, results may slightly vary in some patients because of several factors. However, common results of PRF injections for undereye treatment include reduced fine lines, improved pigmentation, and enhanced skin firmness, texture, and volume.

There are other procedures for undereye treatment such as fillers and laser treatment, to name a few. It’s a case-to-case basis, and the doctor may consider various factors to identify the best treatment for each patient.

Is PRF Injection Better Than Hyaluronic Acid Filler?

Hyaluronic acid filler is also a good option for undereye treatment. However, hyaluronic acid tends to attract water, and this causes worsening puffiness in some patients. This can make the undereye area look worse and may not yield the best results.

On the other hand, in PRF, patients need not worry about puffiness or fluid retention. It also usually doesn’t cause problems with long-term swelling, hence it can be a natural option for undereye treatment.

PRF Injections for Undereye: Post-Treatment Expectations

PRF injections are generally an extremely safe type of procedure, but patients can expect temporary swelling and bruising. This may last for 3-5 days. Also, as with all injections, it may also involve a risk of pain and redness caused by the needle used for the injection. 

Patients may start to observe the results after 4-8 weeks. However, it’s ideal to have a series of 3 PRF injection treatments about a month apart for optimum results. Your doctor may also suggest additional aesthetic procedures to complement the PRF injections. 

The results may last up to a year after the last injection, so doctors and clinics recommend yearly maintenance injections to sustain its rejuvenating effects.

PRF Injections for Hair Restoration

Another potential benefit of PRF is hair regeneration. Although platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, generally yields good results for hair growth, it still lacks regenerative potential. This is where PRF comes in as an advanced version of PRF. 

A study published in the International Journal of Trichology looked at the regenerative effects of PRF injections for the treatment of alopecia, or hair loss. It includes the type of alopecia that is difficult to treat, but hair regeneration was present in all cases. Although it still needs a bigger and longer study, this showed PRF’s better regenerative potential.[7]

This effect is also due to PRF’s natural composition. Its growth factors come from the patient’s blood, and so it increases natural tissue regeneration. This stimulates healthier hair follicles to produce thicker hair. Ideal candidates may include patients who experience thinning hair, receding hairline, and baldness.

PRF Injections for Hair: Post-Treatment Expectations

In the study mentioned, patients experienced mild bruising and inflammation of the scalp. This usually lasts for 2-3 days, but the patients did not require pain relievers after the procedure. For best results, it may be ideal to have four initial PRF injection treatments and a maintenance treatment every year after that.[7]

Cost of PRF Injections

cost

Although the cost of PRF injections may vary depending on several factors, the common price range is $500-$1500. This cost is for common facial areas like undereye and cheeks. However, it might cost more if it’s for multiple areas.

FAQ

PRF injections can last for around 6-12 months. Some people might notice effects lasting for 1.5 years. In the first 1-3 weeks, you’ll likely notice continual improvements in your skin’s appearance and texture. After this time, these improvements will slowly dwindle, and you will likely have to go for maintenance injections every year or so.
Bleeding, bruising, and redness are all possible side effects of PRF injections. These side effects usually occur due to the use of a needle to inject the product. You might also notice some pain during and after the procedure. In rarer cases, there might be nerve damage or an infection.

Bottom line

Platelet-rich fibrin injections can be a better option for those who prefer a natural aesthetic treatment for skin enhancement. Its potential benefits include facial rejuvenation and hair regeneration. However, the results for others do not guarantee the same for everyone, hence patients should consult their doctors about suitable treatments.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Pavlovic, V., Ciric, M., Jovanovic, V., Trandafilovic, M., & Stojanovic, P. (2021). Platelet-rich fibrin: Basics of biological actions and protocol modifications. Open medicine (Warsaw, Poland), 16(1), 446–454. https://doi.org/10.1515/med-2021-0259
  • Schär, M. O., Diaz-Romero, J., Kohl, S., Zumstein, M. A., & Nesic, D. (2015). Platelet-rich concentrates differentially release growth factors and induce cell migration in vitro. Clinical orthopaedics and related research, 473(5), 1635–1643. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11999-015-4192-2
  • ScienceDirect. (2017). Platelet-Rich Fibrin. Retrieved August 21, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/platelet-rich-fibrin
  • Saluja, H., Dehane, V., & Mahindra, U. (2011). Platelet-Rich fibrin: A second generation platelet concentrate and a new friend of oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Annals of maxillofacial surgery, 1(1), 53–57. https://doi.org/10.4103/2231-0746.83158
  • Saluja, H., Dehane, V., & Mahindra, U. (2011). Platelet-Rich fibrin: A second generation platelet concentrate and a new friend of oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Annals of maxillofacial surgery, 1(1), 53–57. https://doi.org/10.4103/2231-0746.83158
  • Aust, M., Pototschnig, H., Jamchi, S., & Busch, K. H. (2018). Platelet-rich Plasma for Skin Rejuvenation and Treatment of Actinic Elastosis in the Lower Eyelid Area. Cureus10(7), e2999. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.2999
  • Arora, R., & Shukla, S. (2019). Injectable-Platelet-Rich Fibrin-Smart Blood with Stem Cells for the Treatment of Alopecia: A Report of Three Patients. International journal of trichology, 11(3), 128–131. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijt.ijt_73_18
Joanna Daluro
Joanna Daluro

Joanna is extremely passionate about empowering her readers to make informed health decisions. Her writing process involves intensive research and fact-checking, but she also enjoys writing health-related product-review articles that help readers make better choices. Her goal is to create highly-accessible and research-based content that readers can relate to and learn from. In her free time, Joanna loves reading self-help books.

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  • Joanna is extremely passionate about empowering her readers to make informed health decisions. Her writing process involves intensive research and fact-checking, but she also enjoys writing health-related product-review articles that help readers make better choices. Her goal is to create highly-accessible and research-based content that readers can relate to and learn from. In her free time, Joanna loves reading self-help books.

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Joanna is extremely passionate about empowering her readers to make informed health decisions. Her writing process involves intensive research and fact-checking, but she also enjoys writing health-related product-review articles that help readers make better choices. Her goal is to create highly-accessible and research-based content that readers can relate to and learn from. In her free time, Joanna loves reading self-help books.