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.
Watch and wait: Growth factors contained in the plasma stimulate the release of the skin’s stem cells. The skin is being tricked into believing that it has been injured and must heal itself with new, fresh tissue. This somewhat sneaky process allows the skin to create new collagen, new blood vessels, and new cells. The results will not be immediate, so while you patiently wait a few weeks and even a few months, your skin will begin to transform itself.
Reflections prides itself in providing patients with meaningful, natural-looking results using cutting-edge treatments and technologies. That often means combining several treatment techniques and/or technologies to achieve the best possible results. In the case of the Vampire Facelift, that combination is Botox, Dermal Fillers, and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP). The name is a play on combining a Vampire Facial with a Liquid Facelift.
Also known as the Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP Facial), a vampire facial combines microneedling with application of Platelet-Rich Plasma. The procedure begins with drawing blood from the patient and then using a centrifuge to extract the platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The patient then undergoes a microneedling treatment. The PRP is then applied to the skin during the treatment for deeper penetration and optimal results.
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Vampire facials aren’t all that new, but you can pretty much narrow down their popularity in the past few years to one woman: Kim Kardashian. In 2013, she Instagrammed a rather shocking photo of her blood-soaked face as a way to promote that night’s episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami (RIP), leading to a barrage of news outlets to ask, “Uh, what’s the deal with this weird new skin care thing?”
During the procedure, you may experience sensations of pulling, tugging, mild pinching, intense cold, tingling, stinging, aching, and cramping at the treatment site. These sensations subside as the area becomes numb. Following the procedure, typical side effects include temporary redness, swelling, blanching, bruising, firmness, tingling, stinging, tenderness, cramping, aching, itching, or skin sensitivity, and sensation of fullness in the back of the throat after a submental area treatment. Rare side effects may also occur. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not for everyone. You should not have the CoolSculpting® procedure if you suffer from cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, or paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria. The CoolSculpting® procedure is not a treatment for obesity. Ask your doctor if CoolSculpting® is right for you. To learn more about what to expect, visit coolsculpting.com.
“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.”
The facial, which is technically a Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment, is, according to some skin care experts one of the best anti-aging procedures out there. “PRP is created from your own blood. It involves a simple blood draw into a special test tube, which is then spun in a centrifuge so that the plasma, with millions of platelets, floats to the top,” says Willowbrook, IL, dermatologist Jessie Cheung, MD. The PRP solution is then used in tandem with micro needling, creating hundreds of microscopic holes in the skin (the solution is applied to the skin after the holes have been made).
Each person that walks through Dr.Lorenc’s door is treated to this eye-opening analysis so the doctor or esthetician can choose the procedure that will best address the patient’s skin care needs. I am not going to lie, I was pretty psyched that my skin’s texture had a near-perfect score of 98%. Hopefully, my Growth Factor Facial would seal the deal on those two pesky percentage points.
PRPs are one of the latest trends in beauty and skincare because of its ability to stimulate new cellular growth, purportedly improving skin tone and texture, smoothing fine lines and even promoting hair growth. Patients are advised to pop a pain pill or to apply numbing cream to diminish any pain from the initial blood draw, as well as the microneedling method.
These platelets, when injected into certain areas of the face, can encourage blood flow, assist with the production of collagen, and activate multipotent stem cells already present in the skin. In time, this procedure will even stimulate the body to produce new skin cells, generating younger tissue and reducing the signs of aging throughout the treated area. This will promote healthy collagen production and restore vitality to the blood vessels and fatty tissues in the neck and face.
Ever since Kim was seen walking into a spa with her BFF Jonathan Cheban to get the snap-worthy procedure, the world of influencers and everyday beauty lovers converged, making way for this crazy facial to be the topic of conversation and consideration IRL. And so I made an appointment to sit down with Dr. Marina Peredo at Skinfluence in New York City to get the 4-1-1 on all things bloody and beautiful.
Most of the people who have opted to try a vampire facial treatment rave about the results. The procedure usually starts by applying a mild numbing agent to the face, and a simple blood draw from your arm. Much like the PRP process for internal joint and muscle injuries, for the vampire facial, your blood is placed in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets in the blood for extraction. While your platelets are being concentrated, your specialist will perform a process called micro-needling on your face. The process involves using a tool to make tiny pricks on your skin to open access for the PRP treatment. When the platelets are ready, they are applied to the face, and the growth factors are called to the site of each skin prick to repair the location with new collagen. The result is a more youthful looking appearance, minimized pores, even tone and complexion and increased elasticity.
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.
If the procedure is carried out properly, the risks are low, except for people with blood-related medical issues, especially those which require blood-thinning medication. The microneedling causes temporary bleeding—hence the name "Vampire facial". Meanwhile, bruising, swelling, redness and pain may persist over the injection site, but these side effects usually disappear within a few days.
So, what is it and how does it work, exactly? Don't let the name fool you. In fact, "It's usually done in full light of day," says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Ava Shamban. In all seriousness, the treatment is a "combination of a microdermabrasion, followed by the application of PRP (platelet-rich plasma)," says Shamban. "The PRP is derived from the serum portion of the blood, which contains platelets. The platelets contain high levels of growth factors, which, when applied to the skin, will stimulate cell turnover."