Earlier this week, the New Mexico Department of Health announced the closure of a spa in Albuquerque after one of their clients reportedly developed an “unspecified infection” sometime after getting a “vampire facial.” During an inspection of the facility on Friday morning, health department officials became concerned about the way the spa was managing the storage, handling and disposal of needles.
The incredible healing power of the blood was discovered in the 1960s when scientists found the hematopoietic stem cells hiding there. Research into the power of these and many other stem cells has made ground-breaking strides in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases ever since. As we learn more about what stem cells can do and how we can use them to treat a wider array of conditions the procedures have most often been up to the task making headway in degenerative and chronic conditions that previously had no other treatment but management and coping. As they grow in popularity, procedures focused on using stem cells and growth factors already present in our bodies have expanded to including cosmetic procedures like hair loss and beauty treatments. The Vampire Facial, also known as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial Treatment, surged in popularity when Kim Kardashian braved the procedure on her reality show. The pictures circulating of her sporting a bloody face sparked conversation among beauty influencers everywhere asking is this treatment effective and how does it work?
"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."
First, the physician (1) isolates growth factors from the patient’s blood. Then (2), the provider uses a micro-needling device to create multiple micro-punctures –both driving the isolated growth factors into the skin & creating stimulus for tightening and rejuvenation of the collagen of the face. Then (3), these provider paints the growth factors onto the micro-punctures so that the growth factors soak into the tissue for further stimulation of tightening and skin rejuvenation.
The facialist can reintroduce this PRP serum into the client's skin in two ways: by direct injection or microneedling. (Many treatments include both methods.) A vibrating microneedling pen opens tiny holes in the skin so that once the plasma is smeared on the face, it penetrates deeply. To minimize discomfort, Dr. Arviv's team preps the client's skin for microneedling with a numbing cream.
I have had 2 of these treatments 6 weeks apart…. I am due for my 3rd treatment this coming Monday but considering canceling as I really have not noticed any results…. The pain was excruciating – even with the topical numbing agent on my face for 20-30 min. I also was swollen for a couple days and bruised for well over a week. Not sure I want to go through the pain for this last treatment if I am not going to see any results….
First and foremost, Kim, as much as we love her (or hate to love her, or whatever), is dramatic AF. At no point during the treatment was I compelled to whimper and cry in pain. Sure, there were moments—most notably, when the Dermapen grazed over the area of my forehead just above my brows leading up to my hairline—where it felt like I was being scalped, but since it was so brief, my pain receptors didn’t even have the chance to trigger tears—or, more surprisingly, blood. 

4)    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” by a special process to begin releasing growth factors that, once injected into the body, will increase collagen production and have other healing effects.

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.
A non-surgical cosmetic procedure that involves withdrawing a patient’s own blood, processing it to create “platelet-rich plasma (PRP),” then re-injecting it into multiple areas of the skin of the patients face in an effort to treat and erase wrinkles and create a more youthful look. By combining the application of hyaluronic acid fillers with blood derived growth factors the Vampire FaceLift® offers a unique balanced approach to reviving your beauty, wrinkles and “rejuvenate” the face.
Reflections is home to a team of pioneering cosmetics-only physicians who are dedicated to providing patients with the most natural, youthful looks possible. Our sole focus on this field allows our doctors to dive deep and master their craft in ways others can’t. Our goal is always to create results that will have others wondering how you managed to hit the genetic lottery.
Aside from the novelty of having a Dracula-inspired skin treatment done, the benefits of the PRP facial appealed to me. The PRP injections can help stimulate collagen. Combined with microneedling, the treatment can result in scar reduction, correction of sun damage, and minimizing fine lines and pores. And because the PRP is coming out of your own bod, there are no risk of side effects! However, patients who have blood disorders or take blood thinners should skip this type of procedure.
There are many benefits to the vampire facelift, cosmetically and financially. For your face, this procedure is great because not only are you getting the benefits of a smoother and brighter face, but you are getting injected with only natural resources. Other types of filler procedures use artificial materials. Also, the vampire facelift is a lot less expensive than other, similar types of skin tightening procedures. As for safety, since you are only having natural things injected into your face, the vampire facelift is typically safe. There are no known side effects, and your body easily accommodates the filler because it’s made from your own blood. Also, there is a theory that using your own body tissues will cause your tissue to regenerate collagen. Although this has yet to be fully proven.
The Vampire Facelift is considered a medical treatment in all states. Consult with patients about their medical history and conduct a brief physical exam to accept them for treatment. The exam should be performed by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner. Only doctors and licensed medical professionals can draw blood and make injections, but trained medical spa employees can apply surface PRP without needles or micro-needling devices. Talk to your state medical board or health care attorney to learn more about the rules in your state.
Reflections is home to a team of pioneering cosmetics-only physicians who are dedicated to providing patients with the most natural, youthful looks possible. Our sole focus on this field allows our doctors to dive deep and master their craft in ways others can’t. Our goal is always to create results that will have others wondering how you managed to hit the genetic lottery.
Lauren Crain is a writer, designer, and joke-teller. As a sexual health and wellness researcher and writer, she's adamant about spreading credible knowledge and eliminating misinformation. Her writing has been featured on The Muse, Insider, Clutch, Her Campus, and Business News Daily. When she's not writing, designing, or trying to make people laugh, you can find her watching 30 Rock with her partner and their cat and dog.
Platelet Rich Plasma contains growth factors which are important for new cell generation and functions, such as creating new collagen and strengthening elastins, and are extremely beneficial to the skin. Microneedling allows for deep penetration of the growth factors and improves the results of the treatment significantly. This procedure is appropriate for those patients looking to:
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.
After that, it was time for Dr.Lorenc to take a small amount of blood from my arm. When I talk with anyone about the procedure this is the step that makes them squirm the most. It was so quick and painless, I really don’t get what all the fuss is about. Once my blood was drawn it was spun in a centrifuge at a fast rate to separate the highly concentrated platelets from the red cells. While I waited for the centrifuge to work its magic I chatted with Rhiannon about the benefits of this procedure.
A Stem Cell Facelift with Fat Transfer combines PRP with Nanofat and Fat Transfer. For those with thin, sagging skin and loss of fat volume, this offers the longest-lasting and most natural results possible. Nanofat is a process of harvesting the stem cells in your fat. In this procedure, we combine those stem cells with the growth and healing factors of PRP for skin texture, tone, and elasticity. We also use your own fat, taken from your midsection, to replace what your face has lost with age (or weight loss). This procedure creates brand new cells, for results that are all you. It is more expensive than a Vampire Facelift and does have about 3-7 days of downtime.
This unique procedure uses the patient’s own blood so there is no risk or rejection or complications.  It is all natural unlike the injectable fillers that are on the market.  The procedure take only about 30 minutes in a safe and sterile environment.  Blood is drawn from the patient and then is put into a centrifuge where the growth-rich platelets are separated.  These platelets are then put into a calcium chloride solution which causes them to release growth factors.  The patient is numbed with a topical anesthetic and then the growth-factor platelets are injected into the areas needed.  There are no side effects, little or no discomfort and the patient is able to return to work.
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.
During a Vampire FaceLift®, the PRP is injected back into your face in a precise and defined manner. These injections can reduce fine lines and wrinkles and help brighten gaunt or ghoulish-looking skin. They may also help refresh and add volume to certain areas of the face, such as the under-eye hollows. In addition, many doctors are studying the use of PRP in wound healing.
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.
"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).
Ever heard of the Platelet-Rich Plasma Facial? If not, maybe you’ve heard of its more Instagrammable moniker “The Vampire Facial.” And we know, we’re STDcheck, so you might be thinking this has to do with Twilight and erotic fan fiction, but it doesn’t. This treatment first came to public light in 2013 when Kim K famously posted a bloody selfie after undergoing the procedure. Since then, celebrities, bloggers, and civilians alike have praised the good name of the Vampire Facial, citing it as the source of their dewy skin and radiant complexion. But recently, the publicity surrounding this mythologically-named derma treatment has turned negative after a spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico urged its Vampire Facial patrons to get tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
Tell your doctor if you have received any other botulinum toxin product in the last 4 months; have received injections of botulinum toxin such as Myobloc®, Dysport®, or Xeomin® in the past (tell your doctor exactly which product you received); have recently received an antibiotic by injection; take muscle relaxants; take an allergy or cold medicine; take a sleep medicine; take aspirin-like products or blood thinners.
Dr. Sally A. Booth and her staff will be happy to discuss the details with you. Please feel free to call for a private consultation at one of our offices in Carmel or Indianapolis. Dr. Booth and his staff at Booth Dermatology & Cosmetic Care Center provide personalized care to residents of Indianapolis and Carmel with state-of-the-art technology for optimal health, aesthetics, and patient satisfaction. To receive more information or schedule a consultation, call (317) 848-2427 to speak with our friendly staff.
The New Mexico Department of Health announced this week that that a client of VIP Spa developed an undisclosed infection that may have come from having a vampire facial treatment done at the spa. The organization is urging people who got any "injection related service, including a vampire facial," to get tested for hepatitis B and C along with HIV. (The clinic has been shut down, BTW.)
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