Going in for a vampire facial, only to see a few drops of blood on the apples of my cheeks, the area surrounding my nostrils, and where the Dermapen abruptly burst a particularly stubborn period pimple on my chin, was disappointing. Not that I’m a super-gory human, but I love me some My Favorite Murder and the idea of going under the pen to come out equally as bloody (and beautiful) as her royal Kim-ness.
If you haven't heard of the PRP facial, that's probably because it's more commonly called a vampire facial. What is a vampire facial? The name doesn't mean it's administered by vampires. (Sadly, it's not even administered by werewolves.) Below, we attempt to answer the most frequently asked vampire facial questions, with some help from two PRP-facial providers: Dr. Soroosh Mashayekh of Irvine Wellness and Cosmetic Clinic and Dr. Tali Arviv of Arviv Medical Aesthetics.
“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.
We may use numbing injections to make your procedure more comfortable. Dermal fillers often include some of this medication, called lidocaine, which is very similar to what dentists use when filling cavities. So we don’t always have to add more numbing injections, but it is available if needed. The numbing sensation lasts a few hours. When it wears off you shouldn’t expect to need any pain medication.
Tell your doctor if you have received any other botulinum toxin product in the last 4 months; have received injections of botulinum toxin such as Myobloc®, Dysport®, or Xeomin® in the past (tell your doctor exactly which product you received); have recently received an antibiotic by injection; take muscle relaxants; take an allergy or cold medicine; take a sleep medicine; take aspirin-like products or blood thinners.
Your surgeon draws blood from your arm (not your neck, as many a movie vampire has been known to do) and spins it to separate out the plasma, which contains platelets. These are the proteins and growth factors that may stimulate collagen production and thereby promote skin regeneration and rejuvenation. There are several kits available to isolate these growth factors, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Once collected, the PRP is injected back into your face.
Reflections prides itself in providing patients with meaningful, natural-looking results using cutting-edge treatments and technologies. That often means combining several treatment techniques and/or technologies to achieve the best possible results. In the case of the Vampire Facelift, that combination is Botox, Dermal Fillers, and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP). The name is a play on combining a Vampire Facial with a Liquid Facelift.
While your face will look red, swollen and bloody immediately after the treatment (it can last a few hours to up to three days after), the results (you’ll see glowing skin immediately but it can take a month or so for the full results, which last about three months, to surface) it provides for cellular rejuvenation are unparalleled because it shortens healing time and stimulates collagen. “Athletes have used it to heal sprains, and now dermatologists are using the technique for hair restoration,” says Dr. Cheung.
The Vampire Facial, on the other hand, is a type of skin resurfacing treatment (such as microneedling or microdermabrasion) which is followed by microneedling of PRP into the skin. The benefit of this method of treatment is that the tiny needles used with microneedling “trick” your body into thinking there is an injury, so new collagen is produced. Though the tiny needles may make the skin look red or irritated for a short while after treatment, it is well known to look much worse than it feels! The results are extremely beneficial for those with fine lines or those who have acne scars or other imperfections they would like to improve.
"It’s rare for an incident like what happened in New Mexico to occur with PRP therapy, though it can be avoided by working with a qualified properly licensed physician provider," Hah said. "The spa operating in New Mexico did not have the credentials to perform this kind of medical procedure. Since their license expired, there was no oversight of the spa’s safety and cleanliness practices. Per the Department of Health’s findings, it appears the spa in question did not properly store, handle, or dispose of used needles."
"A few years ago, I heard about a 'vampire facial,' and I was so intrigued," Kardashian West wrote. Right before she signed up to try the treatment, she found out she was pregnant, which meant that she couldn't use the a numbing cream or painkiller before the treatment as doctors typically recommend, she says. That made for a super uncomfortable experience. "It was really rough and painful for me. It was honestly the most painful thing ever! It's the one treatment that I'll never do again."
While the Vampire Facial has been a media darling, its popularity is not just hype. Early clinical data and positive patient reports indicate a strong future for PRP therapy. As with any cosmetic dermatologic treatment, a thorough consultation with an experienced physician who can answer all of your questions and give you information about this treatment and your other medical options is a must. Contact Booth Dermatology & Cosmetic Care Center on 317- 848-2427 or request a call back from one our friendly staff to learn more about platelet rich plasma therapy in Carmel, Indiana.
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.