Most SkinMedica® products are intended to meet the FDA’s definition of a cosmetic product, an article applied to the human body to cleanse, beautify, promote attractiveness, and alter appearances. These SkinMedica® products are not intended to be drug products that diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. These products have not been approved by the FDA, and the statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
An Albuquerque, New Mexico, spa was served with a cease-and-desist letter and was forced to close this month because it may have exposed a client to an infection. The culprit? “Vampire facials,” a trendy skin care treatment that involves drawing blood from a client’s body, placing it in a centrifuge, then reapplying it to the face, supposedly to promote cell renewal.
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.
In case you don’t remember high school biology, “Platelets are the cells that circulate within our blood and bind together when they recognize damaged blood vessels,” says Dr. Marlene Williams of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. When the body is wounded, platelets come to the wound site and stick together to create a clot and stop bleeding. They also encourage the growth of new tissues. This new tissue growth is what scientists, doctors, and spas that use Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy are after.
First, the physician (1) isolates growth factors from the patient's blood. Then (2), the provider uses a micro-needling device to create multiple micro-punctures --both driving the isolated growth factors into the skin & creating stimulus for tightening and rejuvenation of the collagen of the face. Then (3), these provider paints the growth factors onto the micro-punctures so that the growth factors soak into the tissue for further stimulation of tightening and skin rejuvenation.
“As far as what I can do as an aesthetician, this is my most effective treatment,” Chang said. “It can help with acne scarring by evening out hyper-pigmentation and it also helps with anti-aging in terms of reducing frown lines and marionette lines. But it doesn’t necessarily help with wrinkles. We can’t help what is underneath, but we can help with the collagen and it’s all about the collagen.”
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.
There are many benefits to the vampire facelift, cosmetically and financially. For your face, this procedure is great because not only are you getting the benefits of a smoother and brighter face, but you are getting injected with only natural resources. Other types of filler procedures use artificial materials. Also, the vampire facelift is a lot less expensive than other, similar types of skin tightening procedures. As for safety, since you are only having natural things injected into your face, the vampire facelift is typically safe. There are no known side effects, and your body easily accommodates the filler because it’s made from your own blood. Also, there is a theory that using your own body tissues will cause your tissue to regenerate collagen. Although this has yet to be fully proven.
The New Mexico Department of Health announced this week that that a client of VIP Spa developed an undisclosed infection that may have come from having a vampire facial treatment done at the spa. The organization is urging people who got any "injection related service, including a vampire facial," to get tested for hepatitis B and C along with HIV. (The clinic has been shut down, BTW.)
"The jury is still out on how effective this procedure is, but many feel that it can significantly help improve skin tone, texture, and fine lines," says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York City–based board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Basically, the idea is that it can make your skin look plump and glowy (and younger).
Sclafani's injections are an off-label use of Selphyl, the Aesthetic Factors technology that separates plasma from the blood. Bruce Katz, another New York dermatologist who offers individual injections, uses a similar technology made by the Swiss company Regen Lab. Katz advertises "twilight plasma renewal treatment" on his website. His patients get about 20 injections at once in the face, neck and décolleté, he says.
Unlike other facial treatments, the Vampire FaceLift addresses many different signs of aging. Surgical face-lifts often fix sagging skin but do little to help with the loss of structure or natural plumpness. Fillers, on the other hand, can help treat unsightly wrinkles, but because treatment is so targeted it can result in a more visible, less natural effect.
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.
“Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is widely used in regenerative medicine because of its high concentrations of various growth factors and platelets,” says this research study from Japan. Platelets contain more than 30 different growth factors, and according to VampireFacial.com, the official site of Vampire Facials, “These growth factors activate multipotent stem cells already in the skin (tricking them into thinking there’s been an injury and new, younger tissue should [be] generated).”
Ever heard of the Platelet-Rich Plasma Facial? If not, maybe you’ve heard of its more Instagrammable moniker “The Vampire Facial.” And we know, we’re STDcheck, so you might be thinking this has to do with Twilight and erotic fan fiction, but it doesn’t. This treatment first came to public light in 2013 when Kim K famously posted a bloody selfie after undergoing the procedure. Since then, celebrities, bloggers, and civilians alike have praised the good name of the Vampire Facial, citing it as the source of their dewy skin and radiant complexion. But recently, the publicity surrounding this mythologically-named derma treatment has turned negative after a spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico urged its Vampire Facial patrons to get tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
"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.)
One of the reasons the PRP Facial is so popular is because it works miracles on acne scars and stretch marks. It also increases skin’s elasticity, fights wrinkles by stimulating collagen, and has no side effects. How does it work? When Platelet-rich plasma is applied before and after microneedling it releases at least eight essential growth factors and signaling proteins into the skin. These work to repair tissue and blood vessels, promote the growth of new tissue, and boost healthy cell production.
PRFM has been available on the U.S. market since 2009. It was developed and is marketed by the Aesthetic Factors corporation. While a platelet extraction centrifuge was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 As of March 2011 platelets extracted in this centrifuge have not been cleared or approved by the FDA for facial rejuvenation. Nonetheless, Selphyl has been described as a "FDA approved dermal filler" in YouTube videos and trade publications.
Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including: plans to have surgery; had surgery on your face; have trouble raising your eyebrows; drooping eyelids; any other abnormal facial change; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant (it is not known if BOTOX® Cosmetic can harm your unborn baby); are breast-feeding or plan to (it is not known if BOTOX® Cosmetic passes into breast milk).
"Platelet-rich plasma therapy, particularly when combined with other anti-aging treatments like microneedling, can help soften the appearance of common signs of aging, such as fine lines and loss of skin tone," he said. "Because it enhances your natural collagen production, it can also firm and smooth the skin for a more youthful complexion and reduce sun damage and scarring."
The New Mexico Department of Health has since shut down the spa and is urging any of its clients who received a vampire facial or other injection-based treatments in May or June of this year to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C for free at the Midtown Public Health Office. The statement does not mention which of these infections the client contracted, nor which specific treatment the individual had received.
The procedure would be done by Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Brent Moelleken and not an actual vampire, so I knew I would be in good hands. Dr. Moelleken says that the treatment has become more popular in recent years especially with patients who are looking into more natural ways of rejuvenating their face or body, without using Botox or fillers. It is also used for hair loss.