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?
A. Think of Selphyl® PRFM as the next generation PRP. The Selphyl® System is designed for the safe and rapid preparation of Platelet-rich Fibrin Matrix (PRFM) from a small sample of blood (only 10cc). Many PRP systems require operator skill, have varying results and have extensive contamination with red blood cells and white blood cells. Selphyl® removes virtually all contaminating cells and is independent of operator technique. PRP is converted to PRFM through a controlled process (mixed w/ calcium chloride in a vial) to form a fibrin matrix scaffold that serves to protect and preserve platelets, thus creating more therapeutic rejuvenation.
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.
The basic PRP treatment has been used for almost 20 years to accelerate the healing of wounds and burnt skin, and help athletes - including, reportedly, tennis ace Rafael Nadal - recover from injury. But it was when Dr Charles Runels from Alabama trademarked the name "Vampire Facelift" in 2010, during the craze for the Vampire Diaries and Twilight Saga, that the procedure became attractive for A-listers.
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’.
The day leading up to my appointment, my best friend continually cringed at the idea of my soon-to-be bloody face while my mom made sure to text me every five minutes asking if this is really something I wanted to go through with, having sensitive skin and all. While their concerns pushed me to the point of advising my editor that I may need to work from home the next day if I look busted AF (since bruising and redness are possible short-term results), I stuck to my appointment and headed to the Upper East Side to arrive early for a treatment that, at the very best, could change the way I view my complexion, and, at the very worst, put me out of commission for a couple of days.
The average cost of a platelet rich plasma therapy treatment for cosmetic purposes in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane is roughly $1,000 – $1,500, but be warned not all PRP treatments are the same. Different clinics offer different grade of treatment some of which have little to no effect at all. Ensure the treatment is being performed by a Doctor or Nurse otherwise you might be getting a treatment that uses the same name but is totally different to what we are talking about here. True PRP/Vampire Facial and Vampire Facelift procedures must be performed by a Doctor or Nurse who is allowed to inject the plasma into the appropriate depths of the skin.
"[It's] a broad term that was originally coined by a provider in Southern California—it doesn’t really describe a specific treatment," Wilbur Hah from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery told Newsweek. "Generally speaking, the term “vampire facial” is used to describe platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, with most physicians performing a microneedling treatment with PRP to both trigger the body’s natural healing response and provide the skin with regenerative growth factors."
I was nervous to look in the mirror during and after the procedure because I was expecting my face to be covered in blood à la Kimmy K. Each time I snuck a peek I saw that the bleeding was minimal and it seemed to stop whenever fresh plasma was applied. Rhiannon explained that she tries to use all of the patient’s nutrient-rich plasma during the procedure to ensure the best results. By the end of the treatment, she had made many sweeps across the different sections of my face with the pen and my skin was happy to soak up all the plasma it could get.
Professional athletes from almost every sport have shown us the regenerative and healing power of PRP treatments by using them to return to the game sooner from damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. During PRP treatments, the platelets in the blood that contain growth factors that command the immune system are isolated from the blood and injected back into the effected area. Many people have used PRP treatments as an effective way to avoid risky medication side effects and surgery. The treatment offers a quicker recovery and supports the body’s natural healing process organically without an invasive procedure. The power of platelets are no longer restricted to internal treatments however, vampire facials take the science of platelet treatments and uses it to improve your skin.
Most likely, says Shamban. Those with "premature wrinkles, high levels of solar damage, or anyone who wants an even tone and fresher appearance to their skin," is an ideal candidate for the procedure, she says. However, Zeichner warns that if you have a history of blood diseases, including clotting or bleeding disorders, you should not seek PRP treatment.