Using numbing cream and a very small needle (for almost no pain), the patient’s own growth factors are injected back into her face in a particular way. These growth factors then activate multipotent stem cells already in the skin which is tricking them into “thinking” there’s been an injury and new younger tissue is generated. The multipotent stem cells then develop into new collagen, new blood vessels, and new fatty tissue trying to “repair” the skin that was never injured!
In case you don’t remember high school biology, “Platelets are the cells that circulate within our blood and bind together when they recognize damaged blood vessels,” says Dr. Marlene Williams of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. When the body is wounded, platelets come to the wound site and stick together to create a clot and stop bleeding. They also encourage the growth of new tissues. This new tissue growth is what scientists, doctors, and spas that use Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy are after.
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.
Dr. Peredo explained that a vampire facial, also known as a blood facial or PRP facial, involves extracting blood from a patient’s arm and using a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma from the red blood cells. From there, Dermapen, microneedling, infuses skin with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that stimulates collagen and elastin fibers to promote cell turnover for your most brilliant complexion through a series of thousands of tiny pinpricks. Okay, so no wonder Kim looked terribly in pain. But anything in the name of beauty, right?
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."
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.
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