Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is Factor4?

    Factor4 is a minimally invasive treatment for skin rejuvenation using blood derived growth factors. Factor4 is a highly concentrated and super-rich serum containing four times more growth factors than any brand of Blood Rich Injection product. Factor4 is autologous, (harvested from the body’s own substances) and depending on your needs is used to treat wrinkles and coarse or crêpey skin in areas of the face, neck, and décolletage and back of the hands. It is also used to treat dark eye circles, stretch marks and scars with the bonus effects of significantly reducing static face lines and tightening skin. A Factor4 treatment naturally stimulates collegenesis, which significantly slows down the skin’s ageing process, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and improving the overall skin’s texture. Factor4 also contains anti-inflammatory proteins. You can expect to start seeing results after a couple of weeks from the first treatment. Three or four treatments two to four weeks apart is suggested treatment protocol for the most beautiful results.

  • How is Factor4 prepared?

    Factor4 is prepared by withdrawing a quantity of blood into collecting tubes containing glass beads. This blood is then incubated for 6 hours at 37 degrees and this process elicits a vigorous and rapid increase in the synthesis of growth factors. Following incubation, the blood is then spun down in a centrifuge for 10 minutes to separate the serum containing the active products from blood cells. Serum is then carefully withdrawn, filtered and then used immediately or frozen until use. Your frozen serum can be safely stored for up to six months.

  • How does Factor4 improve my skin?

    Your newly harvested growth factor cells work to restore and strengthen the skin’s matrix, slowing down the ageing process, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and improving overall skin elasticity, tone and texture. We’ve learnt that by our mid thirties our skin starts to loose its collagen stores and elasticity. By the time we hit our forties there is approximately 1% collagen loss each year thereafter. By our fifties, when most of us go through menopause, we all but stop producing collagen and our skin becomes dry and loses most of its elasticity. In addition, sun exposure, smoking, stress and other environmental factors cause the rapid destruction of collagen cells and prematurely ages our skin. Consequently the skin loses its youthful bounce as the scaffolding collapses, leading to dull, dry skin with poor tone and the formation of wrinkles.

  • How long do results last?

    Your newly grown Factor4 collagen fibres are expected to survive around 12 to 18 months in your skin; this is why we recommend a yearly top-up. Areas of high movement, such as around the mouth may breakdown sooner. Some people will break down their new collagen stores quicker than others, smokers and sun lovers in particular. Others will hold the collagen for as long as 2-3 years, though this is rare. One thing is certain, we will all continue to age regardless of our genetics or lifestyle choices. The good news is that Factor4 gives us the opportunity and advantage of markedly slowing down that ageing process and keeping our skin looking youthful, healthy and radiant!

  • Who is suitable for this treatment?

    The beauty of this treatment is that it is safer and has less down time than any other injectable treatment used for anti-ageing because you can’t be allergic or reactive to your own cells! So it’s a great option for those who don’t want fillers or muscle relaxant treatments but also compliments these treatments by working on the canvas of your skin. Unlike other treatments used to stimulate collagen and rejuvenate the skin such as laser therapies, anyone with any skin type can have a Factor4 serum treatment, as it doesn’t discriminate over skin colour! Very pale to very dark skins can have this treatment and any one at any age (over 18) is suitable for this treatment. REMEMBER, Plan your treatments on a day where you don’t have social commitments as you will not be able to wear makeup and must avoid sun exposure afterwards.

  • Who shouldn’t have a Factor4 treatment?

    Normally, if you are taking certain medications, such as blood thinning medication, having long-term steroidal therapy, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have cancer, it is not recommended to have Factor4. If you are taking Roaccutane or are on any active anti-acne topical skincare, have had recent surgery, recent scars less than 6 months old, active herpes, acne or rosacea we recommend delaying your Factor4 treatment. Please provide full details of your medical history to your Clinician, including if pathology technicians or doctors have trouble getting blood from you or if you faint having your blood taken. Please let us know if you’ve had a DVT or clots or suffer from clotting disorders, such as Factor 8 or Von Willebrand. Your Clinician will discuss whether you are a suitable candidate to have treatment with Factor4.

  • What does a Factor4 treatment involve?

    Firstly, a small quantity of blood is collected and is incubated for 6 hours. We then freeze the serum to use for treatment on another day. The advantage of Factor4 over plasma treatments is we only need to take your blood once, (at the beginning for all consecutive treatments), whereas plasma treatments require blood collection before each treatment session.

  • How does the micro-needling method work?

    Factor4 serum is used in combination with the Dermapen skin-needling device. The Dermapen device creates tiny micro-punctures in your skin, which serve as transport channels to deliver your serum deep into the layers of your dermis. We finish the treatment off by drizzling the remaining serum onto the skin, which becomes an enriching mask that is left on overnight for ultimate results. Within four weeks new collagen cells being to grow throughout your skin, giving your skin that golden glow that reflects light, health and vitality.

  • Are the injections from this treatment painful?

    Everybody reacts differently to treatments where injections are involved. Some do not find this treatment particularly uncomfortable, while others can feel anxious just thinking about it. Hence, perception of pain and actual pain varies from person to person. Alternatively, the idea of having blood taken can be off putting for various reasons. To reduce discomfort and anxiety we take the time to talk through these issues during the consultation and of course, to minimise the discomfort, we apply a powerful topical numbing cream 30 minutes prior. Our clients are comforted in the fact that we are highly skilled and experienced in performing these clinical treatments, meaning we are very gentle!

  • How many treatments will I need?

    A minimum of 2-4 treatments spaced at 2-4 week intervals is recommended for best results. Depending on the desired result and the condition of the area to be treated, more treatments may be required. Maintenance may involve ‘top-up’ treatments, which are recommended at 12-month intervals.

  • When will I see results?

    Patients may start to see results after a couple of weeks from their first treatment. However, as the production of collagen is a gradual process and repeat treatments are required, the final result will be seen at approximately 4-6 weeks after the final treatment.

    Watching results grow over long periods, like anything, can be frustrating as it takes from 1-4 weeks to start growing new collagen cells. For this reason we take a series of pretreatment photos so you have a baseline to check your progress, and in case you forget what it looked like at the beginning!

    Once treatments commence you may start to see results after a couple of weeks as your skin starts to feel and look softer. Then after the second and third treatments you will notice your skin will start to glow and reflect light. By 4-6 weeks after your last treatment you will see how the texture of your skin has vastly improved, fine lines and any areas of laxity or crêpey skin will look toned, silky and fresh. Remember, the production of collagen is a gradual process and repeat treatments are required.

  • Are there any side effects?

    Recognised side effects of this treatment are redness, swelling, bruising and stinging at the injection site. There is also a possibility of bruising at the site that blood is taken from.

  • How do I prepare for my treatment?

    Hydration is very important on the day that you have your blood taken. You will need to be as hydrated as possible to ensure a quality ‘harvest of serum’ from your blood. We recommend 2-4 litres of water before your blood sample is taken. We recommend doing this gradually over the 24 hours leading up to your initial appointment to ensure you a full hydrated by the time of your appointment. As a general rule, we recommend 2 cups of water for every cup of coffee. Beverages like green tea, coconut water and low sugar cordials are also great options for hydration.

     

    We prefer that you don’t have sun-tanned skin as it makes it difficult to establish how the skin is responding during treatment. It is advised that you are 4 weeks post any laser treatments and 2 weeks post any injectable treatments. Please ensure where possible that no makeup or creams are applied immediately prior to your treatment. If you are having the injectable method we recommend for you to avoid any agents which promote blood thinning prior to treatment – these include Aspirin, Nurofen / Ibuprofen, fish oil, krill oil, omega fatty acids and alcohol. You may take paracetamol approximately half an hour before you have treatment to reduce discomfort.

  • What aftercare is involved post treatment?

    Mild swelling of the treated area is normal especially if you have had the under eye area treated and will usually settle over 24-48 hours. Redness may also persist for up to 24-48 hours. If you have bruising, Arnica or Hirudoid cream can be used on the treated area to accelerate clearance. Ice may be applied to areas of swelling however we usually recommend waiting at least 6 hours post treatment if Factor4 serum has been applied to the skin. Your practitioner will advise you of your individual aftercare instructions however please do not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns. We recommend not lifting any heavy objects with the arm that blood has been taken from for the remainder of the day.

  • How is the treatment performed?

    Before any treatment we have a complimentary consultation to discuss the process of preparing your serum, the treatment process and after care. We also like to determine if you and the area you want treated are suitable. The consult is a good opportunity to discuss any health or lifestyle issues you may have which help us determine how many treatments you may require. Once we agree on your suitability we work out your payment and treatment plan:

    Step 1

    First we have to turn your plasma into serum! To do this we have to take your blood – which is just like having a simple blood test.

    Step 2

    Because we use a plasma preparing process called Factor4 we only have to take your blood once. This is unique to Factor4, unlike plasma treatments where you have to have your blood taken each time before each treatment.

    Step 3

    After your blood has been collected it is then incubated for 6 hours. This ‘cooking’ process concentrates the Growth Factors, which in turn helps produce four times more collagen. We then spin the blood to separate the red cells giving us a vial of your concentrated serum. We then process and filter out any debris.

    Step 4

    Your serum is then frozen and you will be booked in for the treatment the following day or another day that suits better. Your serum can be kept frozen for up to 6 months.

    Step 5

    On the day of your treatment we get you to come in 30 minutes prior and apply a super strong anaesthetic cream. Your face will be very numb which will help you to relax without the worry of discomfort during the treatment.

    Step 6

    As mentioned earlier, Factor4 serum has two options for delivery to the skin: micro-needling or injection. Sometimes a combination of both methods is used depending on your skin concerns. The type of method appropriate for you and your treatment area is discussed with you in your initial consultation.

    The Micro-Needling Method

    Once numb, your skin is thoroughly cleansed and a hydrating Hyaluronic Acid serum is applied. Next, we do a gentle pass with the Dermapen skin-needling device over the treated areas. Our Dermapen skin-needling treatment is less invasive than standard injections, guaranteeing little or no swelling or bruising of the treated area. Skin needling works by creating tiny micro-punctures in the skin. These micro-punctures then serve as channels to carry your Factor4 serum deep into the dermis. Micro-needling alone is a great treatment for collagen induction and when paired with the Factor4 serum it achieves superior results. After the final pass with the Dermapen we then drizzle your serum over your skin. The serum can now penetrate throughout the tissues and forms a mask, which you leave on and wear overnight, allowing the enriching serum to penetrate to the deepest layers of your skin. Once your treatment is finished your treated skin may feel a bit warm and look a bit red like a mild sunburn, it may feel tight and shiny too. We strongly encourage you to stay out of direct sunlight for 5-7 days, to use SPF 50+ and protect your skin, as it will be sensitive to burning. As your skin may be red and sensitive in the first week we recommend you use gentle cleansers and moisturisers. Our clinicians will discuss this with you before you leave.

    The Injection Method

    The injection method involves using a sharp needle or cannula technique to deliver Factor 4 to the skin. This technique can be beneficial for those with specific areas of concern especially the under eyes. The area can also be micro-needled with the Dermapen immediately after injection technique for increased collagen stimulation. With the injection technique we are able to deliver a larger volume of Factor 4 serum to the area however there is downtime involved with more swelling and bruising compared to the micro-needling method. For those concerned with downtime this method may not be suitable, we therefore recommend micro-needling method for these individuals.

    Step 7

    A minimum of 4 treatments spaced at 2-4 week intervals is recommended for best results. Depending on the desired result and the condition of the area more treatments may be required. Maintenance may involve ‘top-up’ treatments, which are recommended at 12-month intervals.

  • How is Factor4 different to Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?

    FACTOR4 is a 4 times more concentrated serum which is separated from the blood by centrifugal (spinning) extraction. It is then prepared in a laboratory heat regulated oven for 6 hours, filtered to get rid of all the impurities, to yield 4 times more concentrated collagen stimulating growth factors. This means a more powerful response in your skin and superior results in comparison to PRP, which is the plasma only part taken from your blood, spun then injected straight into your skin. With PRP there is no concentrating or filtering of impurities, so it has a poorer collagen stimulating response in the skin. The other issue with PRP is you have to take the clients blood every time they come in for their repeat treatments, which can be 3-4 times! With FACTOR4 we only take your blood once and are able to produce outstanding results, naturally!

*Results and longevity of treatments vary on an individual basis and can be dependant on a person’s age, genetics, skin type, skin condition, environmental factors and lifestyle habits. Just like ageing is a natural process that occurs over time, preventing, achieving and maintaining results is also a gradual process that may involve more than one treatment.