The Vampire Facial has become popular thanks to celebrities having the procedure to keep their skin looking camera ready and glowing. The Vampire Facial is a procedure which combines platelet rich plasma (PRP) with the use of micro needle dermal stimulation (rejuvapen). The medical micro needle procedure using the Rejuvapen is a method of “collagen induction therapy” also referred to as “CIT”. The small entries into the dermis cause the skin to respond with collagen which softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as superficial sun damage.
The patient is numbed with a topical anesthetic gel. The PRFM is then injected with a short, small gauge needle into the desired areas of the face. The PRFM induces growth of new blood vessels, skin cells and collagen resulting in a healthy glow, better color, better tone, reduced wrinkles and sagging. The new blood flow helps create volume and shape, lifting the skin and sculpting the face. In 30 minutes, you are on your way to a new you with a more youthful appearance!
At this point, you’ve probably seen photos and videos circulating on Instagram and Snapchat showcasing blood-splattered selfies, all taken in the name of beauty. What sounds (and looks) like an absolute nightmare is actually one of the industry’s most-requested treatments: the vampire facial. And, as with many seemingly crazy beauty habits and trends, we have the Kardashians to thank for it.
Vampire facelift is an aesthetic medical treatment that offers a younger looking skin. When providing a patient with the treatment, the certified dermatologist draws the blood of the patient, to create a unique substance, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is again injected into the aged or wrinkled skin, which has to be treated. The procedure ensures that no harmful side effects and allergies occur, as the filler substance is sourced from the skin of the patient. With this therapy, according to physicians and medical science, the wrinkles and other signs of aging can be cured effectively.
“Thanks to modern science, we now know that platelets contain various factors that stimulate the production of collagen, elastic fibers and new blood vessels,” says Mandeville. “Microneedling causes direct trauma to the skin. As a result, the body rushes to repair the wounds, sending platelets and cells to the rescue. As platelets play a significant role in terms of growth factors, it seems particularly appealing to inject the plasma back into the skin through the punctured holes to really speed up the healing of the tissues.”
I have heard so much talk about vampire facials that I decided to look into getting one for myself. While I have yet to do this procedure, I can tell you that it sounds like it will yield good results. I have looked at others have had the procedure done, and am excited with what I have seen. The before and after results of the vampire facial appear to be pretty impressive to me. I guess it sort of intrigues me that my own blood will be used to make my face look better.
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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.
When my editorial team first received an e-mail asking if one of us wanted to try a procedure that most people mistakenly refer to as the Vampire Facial, everyone except for this brave soul was too nervous to try it. The reason why? During the treatment blood is drawn from your arm and its platelet-rich plasma is extracted to be used as a serum during the process of microneedling.
"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."
The deal is this: Blood is drawn, usually from the client’s arm, then placed in a centrifuge in order to separate the plasma and the platelets from red blood cells. The resulting liquid is called platelet-rich plasma, or PRP. The plasma contains protein and other nutrients that are supposed to help stimulate skin cell growth and collagen. Then that material is either applied topically or injected into the face using microneedling techniques, which essentially involves puncturing the skin many times with super-tiny needles. The theory is that the holes help the growth factors and other nutrients get into deeper layers of the skin.
PRFM is an outpatient procedures that, as of March 2011, costs about $900 to $1,500 in the U.S. and takes less than half an hour. Blood is drawn from the patient's arm and spun in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets, which are then injected back under the patient's facial skin. It can also be combined in a specific way with other fillers. A procedure using this combination has been marketed as the "Vampire facelift"."
A "blood facial" or "vampire facial" is a cosmetic procedure during which a doctor draws a couple vials of blood from your arm, centrifuges the blood to separate out the plasma and platelets from the red blood cells, and then adds the platelet-rich plasma back into your face. For extra absorption, the doctor pokes your face all over with a bunch of micro-needles before applying the plasma. Reminds me a little bit of making a Jell-O poke cake.
Those who want to treat fine lines and slight sagging on the lower part of the face (like the chin) and to treat laxity in the décolleté area, as well as cleavage crepiness. It can also be used to treat acne scars and divots, cellulite, and even hair loss. Crow’s feet around the eye area can also be treated. “Selphyl is unique and distinct – it’s the patient’s own regenerative potential in their blood re-injected back into the skin,” says Dr. Pearlman. “People who seek this [procedure] don’t want anything foreign injected [into their face] at all.” If you have any type of bleeding disorder or clotting problem, or if your platelets are low (thrombocytopenia), you may not be a candidate for this treatment.
Your best bet is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has experience with all facial rejuvenation techniques and technologies. Due to the large number of doctors promoting themselves as qualified cosmetic surgeons, choosing a surgeon can be a challenge. To make this task easier, Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery has created a directory that exclusively lists surgeons who are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Certification by the ABPS is widely accepted as the highest level of certification possible for plastic surgeons in the United States. Choosing one of these doctors guarantees you will be treated by a surgeon who has undergone extensive education, training and testing and is in excellent standing among his or her peers in the medical field.
If I were someone with a ballin’ budget and had the type of lifestyle that allowed me that kind of recovery time, I would try it again. I’d be curious to see the results of having multiple treatments. However, us broke betches should probably stick to regular facials and our AHAs. Still, it was an interesting experience and I enjoyed scaring people with my photos.
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"The PRP is now highly concentrated with your body’s own natural growth factor proteins, with its regenerative and healing properties," Hah said. "Typically, it is applied to the face after a microneedling treatment has been performed, which creates small channels in the skin so the PRP can penetrate. The mirconeedling creates a stimulus that of turns on your body's natural healing systems. The concentrated growth factors then go to work to regenerate tissue and enhance natural healing processes."
Vampire facials could be an alternative for people concerned about the potentially harmful ingredients in most cosmetic products that promise the same results. The average price for a complete vampire facial treatment, which is usually comprised of 3 treatments over the course of a year, is anywhere from $1,500-1,700. The procedure may be pricey for some, but when you consider the risks and cost points of other procedures like face-lift surgery and chemical facial treatments, vampire facials may be the treatment that’s worth your while.
The procedure is relatively simple and performed in the office in under an hour. First, while your skin is numbing topically, we draw your blood and separate your platelets. Then we spread them over the treatment area and use a micro needling device to deliver the platelets deep into your tissues. The micro needling will stimulate the cells that you already have in your skin to make new collagen and elastin while causing tightening and lightening. Meanwhile, the platelets will signal to your natural stem cells to migrate to the treated areas and they will become brand new skin cells.
The Vampire FactLift™ procedure lasts about 30 minutes. Blood is drawn from the patient’s arm. The blood is placed in a centrifuge where it is processed to isolate the platelets from the red blood cells and other blood components. The blood is then treated, most commonly with calcium chloride. This process releases the PRFM (platelet rich fibrin matrix), growth-rich platelets.
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In general, you’ll want to increase your water consumption for a day or two prior to the appointment. This helps increase the volume of blood in your body, making the PRP process much easier. You’ll also want to avoid blood thinners, if at all possible, for up to two weeks prior to appointment. These include over-the-counter pain medications and vitamins. Do not stop prescription medication blood thinners without first consulting with the doctor who prescribed them to you.
Once the microneedling was in full swing I was surprised at how little it actually hurt. I’m not going to say it was painless, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined. It helped that throughout the 30-minute procedure Rhiannon made sure to check with me to see if I was in too much pain or needed a break. She also told me exactly what she was doing so there were no surprises and kindly warned me when it was time to needle my non-fatty areas because those are the spots that made me flinch.
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."