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.
This procedure has garnered a lot of media attention because of its popularity with movie stars and celebrities and its sensational nickname. Patients come to the Advanced Dermatology clinic having heard about this treatment in the media. They are intrigued by its touted ability to refresh skin and erase wrinkles. They also arrive with many questions, muddled facts and misinformation they heard ‘somewhere’ or from ‘someone’.
I have a few questions about vampire facials. First off, do you have more than one done? So if I have one this summer and the results are not what I expect, can I go back at a later date and have another one done? Or is this just a one time thing? I also would like to know how soon can I expect to see results? And what is the downtime of having a vampire facial?
This is so funny, because my friends used to tease me my entire life that I looked like a vampire because of my under eye circles. They were bad. I am pale, and they were so dark, I was beginning to think I was related to Dracula. My friend said that I should go do a Vampire face-lift, and I thought it was some kind of a joke, obviously. But she was really serious. Then I read about it, and it’s actually like a mini face lift, that is supposed to rejuvenate your face and improve the areas you are not happy with, by using your own blood. That didn’t sound bad to me, and after all the years of teasing I decide to try out the platelet rich plasma therapy, that was so raved about. I have to say that the results weren’t immediate. But after a few months my dark circles became lighter and lighter…I still kept my nickname, but now it’s funny to me, since I know it’s the Vampire therapy that actually helps me.
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.
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.
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?
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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.
So my face was in a lot of discomfort to say the least and it was difficult to sleep the first night. There was minimal swelling when I left, but it seems with every hour my face is less and less recognizable! I called earlier in the day with concerns and I was told it was normal, I am starting not to believe so now. My eyes are almost swollen shut. I believe I am just having a bad reaction.
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.
In between microneedling different sections of my face Rhiannon continuously applied more plasma. It’s hard to explain how soothing this felt. Since the “serum” came from my own body it literally felt like it was coming home. Each time it touched my face my skin immediately felt calmed in a way I am 100% sure no product could ever reproduce. My face was pretty much in the middle of a battle with a microneedling pen so I’d like to think each application of plasma reassured my skin that this was all going to be over soon and everything was going to be okay.
"Maybe there's still some blood in it," suggests Sclafani, who's done extensive research on the competing $1,500 Selphyl system. He also injects platelet-rich plasma for facial rejuvenation, but without mixing in the added fillers. It's a simple injection, much like getting Botox or Restalyne. "No needle is fun, but most people are able to do this without any anesthesia," he says. "They shouldn't scream in pain like that."
Chang begins the 90-minute procedure with a deep cleansing of the face and the application of numbing cream. During the numbing process, Chang draws blood from the patient’s arm and then places two vials of blood in a centrifuge for 10 minutes to isolate the PRP. Chang then removes the numbing cream from the patient’s face, applies some PRP to the face and then injects the plasma into the skin with a microneedling machine.
The Vampire FaceLift® Procedure™ is not as gruesome as a visit from Count Dracula. Your board-certified plastic surgeon begins by drawing blood from your arm. He or she then spins the blood to separate out the plasma. Blood plasma contains platelets, which are proteins and growth factors that stimulate collagen production, among other bodily functions. Collagen, in turn, is the protein that makes our skin look and feel supple, elastic and youthful.
The procedure would be done by Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Brent Moelleken and not an actual vampire, so I knew I would be in good hands. Dr. Moelleken says that the treatment has become more popular in recent years especially with patients who are looking into more natural ways of rejuvenating their face or body, without using Botox or fillers. It is also used for hair loss.