Let’s talk about under eyes. This is one of the most frustrating areas for many of us. If you’re like me, you probably have way too many eye creams & concealers to try to counteract the darkness, hollows, puffiness, fine lines. etc. Don’t worry, I may have found your perfect solution to your under eye woes- Platelet Rich Fibrin AKA PRF. In this post, I’ll share everything you need to know about PRF for under eyes and all of its benefits.
What Happens To Our Under Eyes As We Age?
Starting around age 25, we lose collagen, facial fat, and our bones begin to recede, all of which impact the area under our eyes and lead to a more sunken look with dark circles and hollows. This volume loss is usually the thing you can’t put your finger on when you wonder why you suddenly look so tired. It slowly creeps up on you unless you stay ahead of the game with skincare and treatments. I have a blog post with everything you need to know about undereye issues here.
What I’ve Tried For My Undereyes:
I am no newbie to medical procedures. I had my under eyes filled for the first time when I was 31 and it was LIFE CHANGING for me. I struggled with undereye hollows and let’s be real, no matter the amount of concealer, you just can’t make hollows look full. It’s funny because on my Instagram I have my old highlights where you can totally see my hollows before filler. Whenever Instagram reminds me of old posts and stories I look back and am reminded that I am SO glad I got mine filled. A few weeks ago I tried PRF injections under my eyes. If you want to see what the experience was like check out the video below:
*If you want to learn more about my under undereye filler experience I have a video here. I also recommend looking at my pyriform filler video because mid-face filler can help address some undereye issues as well.
What Exactly is Platelet Rich Fibrin?
Platelet Rich Fibrin (PRF) is your own natural skin rejuvenation serum. PRF is the more advanced version of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). What’s the difference between PRF and PRP? PRF releases growth factors for much longer, up to one week, versus PRP which releases growth factors for a few hours. I’ll explain more on how it works later in this post but this basically means that PRF has longer-term benefits when introduced to a specific area.
How Do You Get The PRF For This Treatment?
At the beginning of your treatment, your blood is drawn (like any normal blood test) and placed into a centrifuge machine that spins and separates the PRF from the red blood cells. The PRF contains a concentrated mix of fibrin, growth factors, and white blood cells.
Fibrin is what forms in response to an injury anywhere in the body. When it is injected, the platelets in your blood attach to the fibrin and become activated which releases the growth factors. This is what starts the wound healing process by creating new skin cells, collagen, and blood vessels.
What Does PRF Treat?
PRF is an all-natural way to improve undereye pigmentation & tone, it also enhances skin firmness, reduces fine lines, texture, and thickness. This means that injecting PRF is ideal for a variety of skin tones and ages because it helps both underlying structural issues- like age-related volume loss, and surface problems- like hyperpigmentation and thin undereye skin. PRF can also be injected into the scalp to aid with hair restoration and growth.
How Long Does It Take To See Results from a PRF Under Eye Treatment and How Long Do Results Last?
PRF maintenance is every 8 to 12 months. For those new to PRF, it’s recommended to start with 2-3 sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart to get full results. Since PRF naturally encourages collagen production in the treated area, results aren’t immediate (besides initial swelling which makes the hollows look better!). You will continue to see cumulative results over the months following the treatment.
Who Is A Candidate For PRF Under Eye Treatment?
Everyone can benefit from PRF. If you want smoother, firmer skin, with less pigmentation… You’re a candidate!
Under Eye PRF vs. Under Eye Filler
PRF and filler each have their own place. I have both and am happy but it really depends on what you’re trying to treat. If you have undereye hollows, filler could be a quick and easy solution for you, but not everyone wants filler, or they may not be a good candidate. If you aren’t quite ready for filler or don’t want to inject a foreign substance into your body, stick with PRF because it’s 100% natural.
Depending on the structure of your bones, and the texture and integrity of your skin, undereye fillers may not be the right solution. Fillers don’t really address fine lines and crepey skin under the eyes, whereas PRF stimulates cell growth both internally (under the skin for improved “structure” and plumpness) and externally (on the skin’s surface, for a smoother look and thicker cellular structure). Filler doesn’t address pigmentation either. I didn’t realize that I had dark circles AND hollows under my eyes until I got filler the first time. That’s the main reason I tried PRF- to address my dark circles (+ all of its other benefits!).
Both PRF and filler need regular maintenance. PRF lasts about 8-12 months and filler can last up to two years. My filler lasted two before I touched it up the first time- I was impressed!
I recommend speaking with a nurse or doctor that can help you assess what option is best for you.
What To Expect During Your PRF Under Eye Treatment & Recovery
The sessions are pretty fast- I was in and out in 30 minutes. Your treatment begins with a blood draw, then it’s spun in a centrifuge to separate out the PRF.
I went to Sunday Skin in Nashville and they used a shot of lidocaine and epinephrine to numb the area quickly. Some med spas may use numbing cream instead since the PRF is injected via a syringe + cannula. Cannulas are placed in the cheek and pushed up to the undereye area. It looks crazy painful but it really isn’t. Once you’re numb then the PRF is injected into the undereye area. My nurse went into the hollow and treated my crows feet too.
Recovery-wise, swelling and bruising are normal. You should expect puffy under eyes for 5 to 7 days. I was puffy and tender for a few days then the bruising began. I’ve never had delayed bruising like this but it was mild and just looked like under eye circles but worse. My swelling lasted for two weeks but it was mild.
How To Prepare For Your PRF Under Eye Appointment?
Avoid blood-thinning medications for TWO weeks before your injections. That means no Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Excedrin, Aleve, vitamin E, fish oil, or omega 3s. Also, you should avoid alcohol 3 days prior to your treatment.
Make sure that you’re working with an experienced injector. PRF is a complicated procedure that requires professional attention. PRF injections to the under-eyes (a very delicate area) is not the procedure to cut corners!
Since PRF takes multiple treatments and time to kick in I don’t have before and after photos yet but look at these results from another one of Sunday Skin’s patients!
What Else Can You Do For Your Eye Area?
Whether you’ve had PRF, Filler, or any other procedure. Your at-home skincare routine is essential to maintain your results. I suggest using your Retinol or Tretinoin around your eyes! It has so many benefits and I cover everything you need to know about retinol in this post. If you aren’t using retinol you need to start ASAP. SPF and sun protection is important too.
As we all know, aging is inevitable but fortunately, there are so many great treatments available to keep our collagen plump and our skin looking its best. Would you try PRF?
If you’re interested in other skin rejuvenating methods check out my post about Morpheus8 Microneedling with Radiofrequency. I added PRF topically to my treatment and my skin looks AMAZING!
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