A Vampire Facelift and Vampire Facial are similar in that they are both non-invasive aesthetic treatments only offered by practitioners who have undergone extensive proprietary training, certification, and follow-up education. Patients can feel confident that the process will be as comfortable as possible and give results that exceed expectations. In addition, both procedures utilize PRP in a way that encourages the skin to heal itself and look its best for a significant time after the procedure. Results will continuously improve for a few weeks after the process and usually last for at least 12 months, and often times longer.
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On the day of my facial I was feeling nervous and a little glamorous as I hopped a train to the Upper East Side and made my way to the med spa for my A-list treatment. After being greeted by Dr.Lorenc’s friendly staff I was taken into a treatment room where a strong numbing cream was applied to my face. Then I was taken to have my skin photographed by a Visia Complexion Analysis machine. The high-tech machine printed out a detailed analysis of my skin’s spots, wrinkles, pores, UV spots, brown spots, red areas, texture, and acne-causing bacteria.
Earlier this week, the New Mexico Department of Health announced the closure of a spa in Albuquerque after one of their clients reportedly developed an “unspecified infection” sometime after getting a “vampire facial.” During an inspection of the facility on Friday morning, health department officials became concerned about the way the spa was managing the storage, handling and disposal of needles.
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).
"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."
"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.)
With my face completely numb and my platelet-rich plasma ready to go, I hopped onto the table. From there Rhiannon and I discussed the microneedling I had been bracing for. She explained that she would adjust the pen to penetrate my skin anywhere from .5 mm to 2 mm deep depending on the area of my face. On parts with less fat, like my forehead and around my nose, the pen would go just .5 mm deep. On the rest of my face she would bump it up to 1 mm. Once all of those details were squared away I felt confident to start the treatment. Bring it on!
According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the business, VIP Spa, was practicing the treatment in a way that “could potentially spread blood-borne infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C to clients.” It’s just one example of a trendy skin care service that spreads to salons around the world faster than health leaders can regulate them.
In general, you’ll want to increase your water consumption for a day or two prior to the appointment. This helps increase the volume of blood in your body, making the PRP process much easier. You’ll also want to avoid blood thinners, if at all possible, for up to two weeks prior to appointment. These include over-the-counter pain medications and vitamins. Do not stop prescription medication blood thinners without first consulting with the doctor who prescribed them to you.
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.
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 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.
In laymen's terms: It's a facial that essentially uses, "your own blood to help promote the healthy activity of your skin cells," says Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Our blood is comprised of red blood cells and serum, which contain our white blood cells and platelets.