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.
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.
“In medispas, you can have untrained people doing procedures without proper supervision in unsafe settings,” explained Dr. Michael McGuire, communications chair of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, to Prevention. There was the Pennsylvania woman in 2001 who went to a medical spa for laser hair removal and ended up with second-degree burns, and in 2004, a college student died from brain damage caused by a numbing gel applied at a medical spa in North Carolina. Other horror stories involve infections from tattoo removal services, counterfeit Botox, and dangerous allergic reactions from microdermabrasion.
“Selphyl is not a filler – it’s a truly regenerative treatment that involves harvesting the body’s own wound healing and regenerative growth factors to improve skin texture, as well as age-related changes like fine lines and laxity,” says Dr. Jennifer Pearlman, staff physician at Mount Sinai Hospital, menopause clinic and owner of PearlMD Rejuvenation, where the treatment is also offered.
Providers of the Vampire Facelift (R) procedure take into account the mathematics of beauty as defined by much research (starting with the notebooks of Lonardo da Vinci) to avoid at all costs creating an unnatural shape. These ideas about the HA fillers are not commonly known even among the best of cosmetic surgeons and constitute part of the intellectual property protected by the trademarked name (Vampire Facelift®).
The Vampire Facial has become popular thanks to celebrities having the procedure to keep their skin looking camera ready and glowing. The Vampire Facial is a procedure which combines platelet rich plasma (PRP) with the use of micro needle dermal stimulation.(Rejuvapen). The medical micro needle procedure using the Rejuvapen is a method of “collagen induction therapy” also referred to as “CIT”. The small entries into the dermis cause the skin to respond with collagen which softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as superficial sun damage.
After using injectable fillers to achieve a more youthful appearance, your injector will draw your blood. Typically, we’ll only need to draw around 2 teaspoons. Your blood will be run through a centrifuge to separate and isolate platelet rich plasma, which is also known as growth factors. These specific “growth factors” have been identified to help heal damaged tissue. These growth factors have been known to work like magic to cause increased collagen and improved blood flow to the tissue.
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.