Platelets, Zeichner explains, are rich in growth factors, which essentially act as energy boots for our skin. This helps our skin function optimally, increasing everything from collagen to elastin, while also bringing antioxidant and hydrating properties. "Platelet-rich plasma is now commonly used topically as part of a regular facial, used along with microneedling to enhance penetration into the skin, and is even being injected into the skin in the same manner as dermal fillers," says Zeichner.
Runels is very serious about protecting the vampire name, emphasizing that he defined and named the procedure and does not want people being confused. He goes to great lengths to prevent "Vampire Facelift" from become a generic term for any procedure that uses PRP and makes it clear the procedure is not for everyone, including patients on 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.
The idea is that this will cause skin to appear younger — and for skin care nerds, this makes the few-hundred-dollar price tag and non-minuscule amount of pain worth it. The prevailing attitude toward skin care these days seem to be, “Even if there haven’t been loads of studies about whether or not this one product will erase all my wrinkles, it still might, and also it’s probably not going to harm me.”
Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers (like Juvederm and Restylane) lift the skin away from the bone to restore youthful volume and shape. But HA fillers can cause problems near the eye. Also, the injector of HA fillers can chase a wrinkle and create a shape that looks foreign to the person's face or even foreign to this planet. The HA fillers do little to improve skin tone and texture.
A Stem Cell Facelift with Fat Transfer combines PRP with Nanofat and Fat Transfer. For those with thin, sagging skin and loss of fat volume, this offers the longest-lasting and most natural results possible. Nanofat is a process of harvesting the stem cells in your fat. In this procedure, we combine those stem cells with the growth and healing factors of PRP for skin texture, tone, and elasticity. We also use your own fat, taken from your midsection, to replace what your face has lost with age (or weight loss). This procedure creates brand new cells, for results that are all you. It is more expensive than a Vampire Facelift and does have about 3-7 days of downtime.
The patient is numbed with a topical anesthetic gel. The PRFM is then injected with a short, small gauge needle into the desired areas of the face. The PRFM induces growth of new blood vessels, skin cells and collagen resulting in a healthy glow, better color, better tone, reduced wrinkles and sagging. The new blood flow helps create volume and shape, lifting the skin and sculpting the face. In 30 minutes, you are on your way to a new you with a more youthful appearance!
Using numbing cream and a very small needle (for almost no pain), the patient’s own growth factors are injected back into her face in a particular way. These growth factors then activate multipotent stem cells already in the skin which is tricking them into “thinking” there’s been an injury and new younger tissue is generated. The multipotent stem cells then develop into new collagen, new blood vessels, and new fatty tissue trying to “repair” the skin that was never injured!
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” with calcium chloride to begin releasing growth factors that, once injected into the body, will increase collagen production and have other healing effects.
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First and foremost, Kim, as much as we love her (or hate to love her, or whatever), is dramatic AF. At no point during the treatment was I compelled to whimper and cry in pain. Sure, there were moments—most notably, when the Dermapen grazed over the area of my forehead just above my brows leading up to my hairline—where it felt like I was being scalped, but since it was so brief, my pain receptors didn’t even have the chance to trigger tears—or, more surprisingly, blood.
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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."