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.
I’ve been wanting to get a thread lift for quite some time. My neckline is saggy. I am in my fifties but my skin is not elastic at all and just sags more with each day. While I was going through the reviews, I stumbled upon one that recommended a very new procedure that is even more efficient and less painful and easy to recover from. It was the vampire facial treatment. Since it had such a strange name, I thought it was some kid’s game or something, to tease us older people. But on the contrary, it’s an effective procedure that gives fascinating results, and all it takes is your own blood. I tried it out, and I am more than happy. I would recommend it to anyone with saggy skin. It lifted my entire face and made me look several years younger. And I don’t feel like an old bag any more. Trust me, it’s worth every penny.
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.
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 process starts with a careful assessment of your medical history and skin concerns. After determining you are a candidate for this treatment, blood is taken similar to a normal laboratory blood draw. This blood is then processed in our COLA certified moderately complex laboratory in a centrifuge that spins down your blood. We separate the blood components, filtering the portion of the blood which is called platelet-rich plasma or PRP. The PRP has a large amount of platelets (cells that help clot your blood when bleeding) and are very rich in growth factors and stem cells. After being activated the PRP is re-injected into the face in conjunction with a hyaluronic acid filler to simulate an injury that will help the body create new blood vessels and blood flow. It will also stimulate collagen production to help improve the texture of the skin.
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.
The vampire facelift takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes to perform. Before the procedure is performed, the surgeon needs to first draw blood from the patient (not with fangs, but with a syringe), then separate the platelets from the blood. The platelets and various natural fillers are then injected into the areas the patient has requested, such as the cheeks, mouth lines, under the eyes, etc. The vampire facelift costs anywhere between $800 to $1500, depending on where you have it done. If you have it done in a bigger city like San Francisco or New York, you’re going to pay a little more. As for recovery time, your face may be a little red afterwards, but it will go away in a few hours.
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.
"It's one of the most popular treatments at my practice," says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. "We use it to treat acne, acne scarring, melasma, surgical scars, and fine wrinkles and lines." (PRP can also be used on your scalp to treat hair loss because it can stimulate hair growth.)
Typically, the process includes the initial blood draw, then running the blood through a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. You'll then receive microneedling or microdermabrasion just before your PRPs are slathered across your face. This can be accompanied with or without radio frequency, too. "It sounds gory and mysterious, but in fact, it is central to our evolving understanding of the physiology of the skin and advanced techniques with which to improve the quality of the skin," says Shamban.