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.
Some dermatologists I talked with did offer plasma injections, but not exactly in the way Kardashian got hers. Anthony Sclafani, a facial plastic surgeon at the New York Ear and Eye Infirmary, performs single-needle injections for wrinkles and acne scars. Sclafani also authored one of the only actual studies about platelet-rich plasma for wrinkles, a small study of 15 people published last year. The study was supported by Aesthetic Factors, the Pennsylvania-based company that makes the technology for separating plasma from the blood in the doctor's office, a procedure that previously had to be done in labs.
An Albuquerque, New Mexico, spa was served with a cease-and-desist letter and was forced to close this month because it may have exposed a client to an infection. The culprit? “Vampire facials,” a trendy skin care treatment that involves drawing blood from a client’s body, placing it in a centrifuge, then reapplying it to the face, supposedly to promote cell renewal.
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Vampires are known for their red eyes, alabaster complexion and sharp fangs. Vampire injections don't promise any of these outcomes. Instead, they reduce fine lines and wrinkles, restore volume and get rid of that gaunt, anemic look. Facial plastic surgeons who perform this procedure often overfill the area by 20 percent, because much of the PRP will be reabsorbed by your body. In general, the procedure takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
As far as risks go, there aren't as many as you might think. In fact, Shamban explained that the only risk you really run is bruising at the time of the venipuncture. Aside from the discomfort of a blood draw and bruising from injection or microneedling, Zeichner says the vampire facial is "extremely safe, as it is your body's own blood being recycled."