"The jury is still out on how effective this procedure is, but many feel that it can significantly help improve skin tone, texture, and fine lines," says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York City–based board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Basically, the idea is that it can make your skin look plump and glowy (and younger).
First, the injector (1) uses HA fillers to create a beautiful shape. (2) Then, the physician isolates growth factors from the patients blood. (3) When these growth factors enter the face (injected by the physician), then multi-potent stem cells become activated to grow new tissue. This new tissue includes new collagen, new fatty tissue (for smoothness), and new blood vessels (for a healthy glow).
PRP used for vampire facials contain about 19 growth factors that tone and smooth the skin while reversing the signs of aging. The procedure has been approved for use and requires a medical professional to draw the blood for the treatment. There have been no reported side-effects from the treatment, and most people report the pain from the micro-needling and blood draw to be minimal.
The effects of the procedure improve for 2 to 3 months after the procedure and last for at least 1 to 2 years! Unlike most procedures, the Vampire Facelift (R) offers a way of restoring shape, and improving tone and texture, as well as literally rejuvenating new and younger tissue! 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! The result…younger-appearing skin!
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Step 3 is taking the isolated PRP created from the previous step and injecting it into strategic areas. Using a very small needle, you will be injected with your own growth factors in a particular way. These growth factors then activate multi-potent stem cells already in the skin, tricking them into “thinking” there’s been an injury and then generate newer, and younger tissue.
Later that night my skin was pretty red but when I woke up the next morning most of the redness had disappeared. It takes four to six weeks to see the treatment’s full results (collagen takes a bit of time to grow), but I can assure you that I saw benefits almost immediately. I’ve had a fair share of facials that left me wondering if the treatment worked or if my skin was just having a good couple of weeks. Trust me — you will never once question whether or not this treatment is effective.
The vampire facial involves injecting part of the patient’s own blood directly into the face. Key to the treatment is platelet-rich plasma (PRP), the yellow-colored portion of blood that remains after red and white blood cells and other components have been removed. PRP helps blood clot and contains proteins that support cell growth. By stimulating collagen production, PRP helps rejuvenate aging skin by giving it more elasticity.
I was intrigued after delving into some research on the PRP (platelet-rich plasma) Growth Factor Facial. I actually started to come around to the idea of having tiny needles continuously plunged into my plasma-covered face. You see, the bloody facial featured on Keeping Up with the Kardashians is actually called the “Vampire Facelift™”. It is a trademarked procedure that is different from the one I would be receiving. The Kardashian-endorsed version involves filler injections. I was relieved to learn that Dr.Lorenc’s did not. A little Botox here and there is one thing, but a face full of fillers is another.
Unlike other facial treatments, the Vampire FaceLift addresses many different signs of aging. Surgical face-lifts often fix sagging skin but do little to help with the loss of structure or natural plumpness. Fillers, on the other hand, can help treat unsightly wrinkles, but because treatment is so targeted it can result in a more visible, less natural effect.
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.
Sclafani's injections are an off-label use of Selphyl, the Aesthetic Factors technology that separates plasma from the blood. Bruce Katz, another New York dermatologist who offers individual injections, uses a similar technology made by the Swiss company Regen Lab. Katz advertises "twilight plasma renewal treatment" on his website. His patients get about 20 injections at once in the face, neck and décolleté, he says.
Many people learn about the benefits of The Vampire Facelift® when they understand how the procedure works for their unique facial anatomy. Some patients may also combine The Vampire Facelift® with other facial procedures. The benefit of the Vampire Facelift® continues for a time after the procedure as the growth factors in the blood stimulate the body to create collagen and new blood vessels that result in the improvement facial skin.
Whether you want to give these vampire fillers a try or are interested in other facial rejuvenation procedures, your first step should be to schedule a consultation with a facial plastic surgeon who has experience with all the available procedures. Choosing a surgeon can be a challenge, as there are many doctors advertising their services. To make your search easier, All About Facial Rejuvenation has created a directory of highly trained and skilled surgeons. Just click on the Find a Surgeon button below to locate a surgeon in your area. During your initial consultation, he or she will listen to your concerns, perform a physical exam and help you decide whether this treatment is right for you.
Yasemin is a staff writer at Live Science, writing about biology and neuroscience, among other science topics. Yasemin has a biomedical engineering bachelors from the University of Connecticut and a science communication graduate certificate from the University of California, Santa Cruz. When she's not writing, she's probably taking photos or sitting upside-down on her couch thinking about thinking and wondering if anyone else is thinking about thinking at the exact same time.
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"Platelet-rich plasma therapy, particularly when combined with other anti-aging treatments like microneedling, can help soften the appearance of common signs of aging, such as fine lines and loss of skin tone," he said. "Because it enhances your natural collagen production, it can also firm and smooth the skin for a more youthful complexion and reduce sun damage and scarring."
Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers (like Juvederm and Restylane) lift the skin away from the bone to restore youthful volume and shape. But HA fillers can cause problems near the eye. Also, the injector of HA fillers can chase a wrinkle and create a shape that looks foreign to the person's face or even foreign to this planet. The HA fillers do little to improve skin tone and texture.