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.

"While it has become incredibly popular and can yield wonderful results, it is not necessarily the miracle treatment some advertise it as," Hah said. "That being said, PRP has been used for last two decades to help treat musculoskeletal pain and regenerate cells; it is not a new “fad” treatment. In fact, studies have shown that PRP effectively promotes tissue remodeling in aging skin."


The average cost of a platelet rich plasma therapy treatment for cosmetic purposes in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane is roughly  $1,000 – $1,500, but be warned not all PRP treatments are the same. Different clinics offer different grade of treatment some of which have little to no effect at all. Ensure the treatment is being performed by a Doctor or Nurse otherwise you might be getting a treatment that uses the same name but is totally different to what we are talking about here. True PRP/Vampire Facial and Vampire Facelift procedures must be performed by a Doctor or Nurse who is allowed to inject the plasma into the appropriate depths of the skin.
If the procedure is carried out properly, the risks are low, except for people with blood-related medical issues, especially those which require blood-thinning medication. The microneedling causes temporary bleeding—hence the name "Vampire facial". Meanwhile, bruising, swelling, redness and pain may persist over the injection site, but these side effects usually disappear within a few days.
The efficacy of PRFM is contested. As of March 2011, according to a New York Times report, it is attested by several plastic surgeons who use it but remains unproven by research.[1] Phil Haeck, the president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, dismissed the procedure as "creepy", "a gimmick" and as "antiquated as bloodletting".[1] It is marketed as Selphyl, TruPRP, Emcyte, Regen, and Pure Spin.
This injection of PRP into the face activates multipotent stem cells and tricks the body into generating new tissue, as it would after an injury. The patient’s system will naturally grow collagen for moisture and a more youthful face, new fatty tissue for smoothness and new blood vessels for a glowing complexion. The procedure was inspired by how your body heals after an injury.
“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.”
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If the procedure is carried out properly, the risks are low, except for people with blood-related medical issues, especially those which require blood-thinning medication. The microneedling causes temporary bleeding—hence the name "Vampire facial". Meanwhile, bruising, swelling, redness and pain may persist over the injection site, but these side effects usually disappear within a few days.
“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).”
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You will be asked to drop smoking in advance of the operation. Certain medications that increase the risk of bleeding such as Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and some vitamins/homeopathic regimens should be discontinued prior to surgery. Having long hair before the surgery is going to help you cover the incisions while they heal. Any chemical processing of your hair should be done prior to surgery.
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?
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First, the injector (1) uses HA fillers to create a beautiful shape. (2) Then, the physician isolates growth factors from the patients blood.  (3) When these growth factors enter the face (injected by the physician), then multi-potent stem cells become activated to grow new tissue.  This new tissue includes new collagen, new fatty tissue (for smoothness), and new blood vessels (for a healthy glow).

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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"."[1]

Aside from the novelty of having a Dracula-inspired skin treatment done, the benefits of the PRP facial appealed to me. The PRP injections can help stimulate collagen. Combined with microneedling, the treatment can result in scar reduction, correction of sun damage, and minimizing fine lines and pores. And because the PRP is coming out of your own bod, there are no risk of side effects! However, patients who have blood disorders or take blood thinners should skip this type of procedure.
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