If you haven't heard of the PRP facial, that's probably because it's more commonly called a vampire facial. What is a vampire facial? The name doesn't mean it's administered by vampires. (Sadly, it's not even administered by werewolves.) Below, we attempt to answer the most frequently asked vampire facial questions, with some help from two PRP-facial providers: Dr. Soroosh Mashayekh of Irvine Wellness and Cosmetic Clinic and Dr. Tali Arviv of Arviv Medical Aesthetics.
Once the microneedling was in full swing I was surprised at how little it actually hurt. I’m not going to say it was painless, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined. It helped that throughout the 30-minute procedure Rhiannon made sure to check with me to see if I was in too much pain or needed a break. She also told me exactly what she was doing so there were no surprises and kindly warned me when it was time to needle my non-fatty areas because those are the spots that made me flinch.
PRFM is an outpatient procedures that, as of March 2011, costs about $900 to $1,500 in the U.S. and takes less than half an hour. Blood is drawn from the patient's arm and spun in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets, which are then injected back under the patient's facial skin. It can also be combined in a specific way with other fillers. A procedure using this combination has been marketed as the "Vampire facelift"."
Your surgeon draws blood from your arm (not your neck, as many a movie vampire has been known to do) and spins it to separate out the plasma, which contains platelets. These are the proteins and growth factors that may stimulate collagen production and thereby promote skin regeneration and rejuvenation. There are several kits available to isolate these growth factors, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Once collected, the PRP is injected back into your face.
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?
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 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).
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But, you know what wasn’t disappointing? The day-three results. While the hours immediately following the hour-long appointment were characterized by an unsightly red, ultra-puffy complexion (which was really just exacerbated by the fact that I have sensitive skin), with the help of an even layer of Alastin Regenerating Skin Nectar (the post-treatment product Dr. Peredo told me to use for the next week), by day two it looked like I had a low-key sunburn and day three my skin looked radiant and refreshed.
After an initial consultation appointment, a second visit is required for the actual procedure: Blood is drawn (just like a regular blood test) and then spun in a centrifugation system to separate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from the other blood elements. This is then injected with tiny needles into the superficial layers of the skin (called mesotherapy).
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.
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 vampire facial was only supposed to sound scary. Sure, it involves extracting the patient's own blood, isolating the platelet-rich plasma by spinning it in a centrifuge and then re-injecting it into the face. But the results are touted to be rejuvenated, smooth and supple skin, not an HIV or hepatitis scare, as clients of the VIP Spa in Albuquerque, N.M., are now facing.