What’s better: PRP or PRF?
January 15, 2022

Since there are many different esthetic and regenerative medicine treatments on the market today, consumers can get confused when selecting which treatment is right for them.  One of the most confusing decisions is when it comes to determining the difference between PRP and PRF and which one is right for them.  

PRP and PRF have been used for decades in medicine.  PRF is the second generation of platelet-derived treatments.  These treatments, PRP and PRF, have taken the market by storm and created quite a frenzy.  PRP went viral when Kim Kardashian advertised her vampire facials, and since then has gained much popularity for its cosmetic benefits. 

Both PRP and PRF can help repair and regenerate the body, but which is better?  So to clarify, we will discuss the similarities and differences between PRP and PRF to show which one is superior.

What is PRF?

PRF, Platelet Rich Fibrin, is derived from blood.   It is 100% natural and 100% autologous, meaning it is created entirely from your blood.  There are no additives.  Your blood is centrifuged or spun down to create a top layer consisting of plasma, platelets, growth factors, white blood cells, stem cells, and fibrin, and a bottom layer with red blood cells.  The top layer is what is re-injected into your body.

What is PRP?

PRP, Platelet Rich Plasma, is also derived from your blood.  Your blood is removed and centrifuged to create a top layer consisting of plasma, platelets, and growth factors, and a bottom layer with red blood cells, white blood cells, and stem cells.  This top layer also called “liquid gold” due to its yellow color is extracted and re-injected into your own body.

What are the similarities between PRP and PRF?

PRP and PRF are both autologous meaning they are derived from your own body/ blood.  Blood is obtained from a vein in your arm, just like when you go to get blood drawn for lab work.  It utilizes the same blood drawing apparatus, which causes minimal discomfort and minimal risks. 

Your blood is collected into several small tubes.  These tubes are put into a centrifuge machine to spin the blood and separate it into layers.  The top layer is removed and re-injected into your body.  It is re-injected with either a needle or blunt cannula.  The rest of the blood is discarded.  However, these are where the similarities end.

What are the differences between PRP and PRF?

PRF is centrifuged, or spun down, are slower speeds than PRP.  The slower speed allows for less damage to the platelets and thus a higher yield, almost twice as much. PRP contains five times as many platelets, however, PRF has ten times as many.  The more platelets equal more growth factors you will have, and subsequently, more effective healing powers to give superior results.

This slower spinning will also allow for the plasma injected to have white blood cells and stem cells in it, which increases the repair and regenerative properties of PRF, unlike PRP, which does not contain these.  PRP only has platelets and growth factors.

PRF also has fibrin in it, which PRP does not have.  Fibrin acts as scaffolding or glue to secure the platelets, growth factors, white blood cells, and stem cells to the area where they are injected.  It also allows for a more sustained and slower release of growth factors for days longer than PRP.  The longer the repair components remain in place and work, the better the results you will have.

PRF is 100% natural, but PRF is not.  PRP contains an additive anticoagulant to keep the blood from clotting, which  PRF does not have.  The downside with PRF is that it must be injected quickly to avoid clotting.

PRF is a less complicated procedure and less operator-dependent, making the results more uniform and easier to achieve.

PRF also requires less blood to be withdrawn while achieving higher yields of the necessary components.

What Conditions do PRP and PRF Treat?

Woman pointing at the bags under her eyes is an example of a condition treated by PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin).

Both PRP and PRF are used to treat the same conditions. 

  1. Volume loss – Both are used to increase volume in the face to improve sunken areas, similar to what fillers can do.  However, they are not a replacement for fillers. 
  2. Cosmetic appearance – They can improve wrinkles, discoloration, texture, and pore size on the face to help you look younger and more refreshed. It can even help tighten your skin.
  3. Hair loss – They have been used to increase and improve hair growth on the scalp in conditions such as androgenic alopecia and alopecia areata.  They can increase hair count, growth rate, and hair shaft size and improve the texture of the hair.
  4. Acne scars – They can improve the appearance of acne scars, especially when combined with laser or micro-needling procedures.
  5. Orthopedic – They have been used to treat various problems with muscle, tendon, and bone, such as tendonitis and arthritis.
  6. Dental – They are utilized to help heal after specific procedures such as bone grafts, tooth extractions, and implant surgery.
  7. Wound healing – Both are used to heal acute and chronic wounds.

How often do I have to get injections?

Usually, PRP and PRF injections are performed every 4-6 weeks for 1-3 treatments, then periodically after that, depending on your results and the severity of your condition being treated.  If you respond well, then the treatments can be spaced out every 6- 12 months.  If your situation is very severe, you might need then every 1-3 months.  In some respects, the treatments can be tailored to you personally.

While PRP and PRF can repair and regenerate your skin and hair to help improve your appearance, PRF is superior.  PRF contains more platelets and growth factors and has white blood cells, stem cells, and fibrin, which PRP does not have.  These extra blood components give PRF superior regenerative potential.  PRF is also all-natural and pure without any additives.  The more consistent and predictable results achieved with PRF make  it superior to PRP.