"The term “vampire facial” may throw some people off, leading to a misconception that this is a quick, easy treatment," Hah said. "However, PRP therapy is a medical procedure that should always be performed by a physician who has specific experience with the technique. In addition to blood needing to be drawn safely and with sterile instruments, micro-injuries are created in the facial skin during the microneedling process—which can leave room for infection if the proper care is not taken."
Isolating PRP: The drawn blood is placed in a centrifuge for 5 to 10 minutes. This equipment spins the blood at high speed to separate the lighter plasma from the rest of contents of the blood. This isolated platelet rich plasma is “activated” with calcium chloride to begin releasing growth factors that, once injected into the body, will increase collagen production and have other healing effects.
The Vampire Facelift procedure only takes about an hour to complete, and that includes the: blood draw, preparation of the PRP, platelet-rich fibrin matrix, and The Vampire Facelift® treatment itself. Since skin renewal and rejuvenation is using the body’s own active regeneration components, facial skin renewal is continual for about 3 months after the procedure. The overall effects of the Vampire Facelift® can last for over a year.
Many people coming to our practice choose the Vampire Facelift® because it’s a non-surgical procedure. The term “facelift” when used in the context of the “Vampire Facelift®” describes how volume placed artistically and strategically under the skin can “lift” the skin away from the bony structure creating a more youthful appearance. As people get older, the fat under the skin decreases making the person look more hollow.
Executing the technical aspects of the PRP process so that you get all of the added benefits: PRP is a new technology, but to the extent that it has been studied thus far, we know that the processes used to isolate and concentrate the serum is very important in terms of its effectiveness. We use a system that creates a serum that has 8x the concentration of growth and healing factors found in normal blood. Typical systems used by other practices often get concentrations in the 2-3x range.
A. Growth Factors from PRP have many benefits to rejuvenation of the skin including anti-aging, fine lines and wrinkles, blending our skin tone, improving dark circles, overall increase in thickness of the skin, hand rejuvenation, hair restoration, and rebuilding scars. The Facelift refers to injecting platelets versus topical application with lasers or micro-needling.
The process starts with a careful assessment of your medical history and skin concerns. After determining you are a candidate for this treatment, blood is taken similar to a normal laboratory blood draw. This blood is then processed in our COLA certified moderately complex laboratory in a centrifuge that spins down your blood. We separate the blood components, filtering the portion of the blood which is called platelet-rich plasma or PRP. The PRP has a large amount of platelets (cells that help clot your blood when bleeding) and are very rich in growth factors and stem cells. After being activated the PRP is re-injected into the face in conjunction with a hyaluronic acid filler to simulate an injury that will help the body create new blood vessels and blood flow. It will also stimulate collagen production to help improve the texture of the skin.
PRPs are one of the latest trends in beauty and skincare because of its ability to stimulate new cellular growth, purportedly improving skin tone and texture, smoothing fine lines and even promoting hair growth. Patients are advised to pop a pain pill or to apply numbing cream to diminish any pain from the initial blood draw, as well as the microneedling method.
“In medispas, you can have untrained people doing procedures without proper supervision in unsafe settings,” explained Dr. Michael McGuire, communications chair of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, to Prevention. There was the Pennsylvania woman in 2001 who went to a medical spa for laser hair removal and ended up with second-degree burns, and in 2004, a college student died from brain damage caused by a numbing gel applied at a medical spa in North Carolina. Other horror stories involve infections from tattoo removal services, counterfeit Botox, and dangerous allergic reactions from microdermabrasion.
The main differentiator of the Vampire Facial is that instead of injecting the patient’s PRP in to the face, you use microneedling device, such as the Dermapen, to create microscopic pinpoint injuries to the face and then apply the PRP directly onto the surface of the skin. This process was famously used on reality TV star Kim Kardashian and went viral in 2014.
As for recovery, it might take a day or two of downtime before you're ready to hit the streets. Shamban says recipients may need one or two days, depending on how aggressive the microdermabrasion was on your skin. You'll emerge from treatment a bit red, almost like a sunburn, which means post-procedure sunscreen is highly recommended. Applying makeup, though, is discouraged.