"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."
The vampire facial was only supposed to sound scary. Sure, it involves extracting the patient's own blood, isolating the platelet-rich plasma by spinning it in a centrifuge and then re-injecting it into the face. But the results are touted to be rejuvenated, smooth and supple skin, not an HIV or hepatitis scare, as clients of the VIP Spa in Albuquerque, N.M., are now facing.
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As a result, skin spas and dermatologist offices like Skinfluence have seen more requests for PRP facials than ever before. Dr. Peredo explained that while the skin tightens after just one vampire facial, the more frequently you undergo the Dermapen (as in, once a month), the better your results will be. In other words, if you want a quick mini face-lift that leaves your skin looking refreshed and refined, drop $800 and give it a go. But, if you’re looking for more noticeable results in terms of fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, and pore size, get ready to dedicate a bit more time to your overall transformation—not to mention a pretty chunk of change.
The facial, which is technically a Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment, is, according to some skin care experts one of the best anti-aging procedures out there. “PRP is created from your own blood. It involves a simple blood draw into a special test tube, which is then spun in a centrifuge so that the plasma, with millions of platelets, floats to the top,” says Willowbrook, IL, dermatologist Jessie Cheung, MD. The PRP solution is then used in tandem with micro needling, creating hundreds of microscopic holes in the skin (the solution is applied to the skin after the holes have been made).
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.
The Vampire Facial requires little recovery time. There may be redness and some tenderness on the first day that appears much like sunburn. Occasionally some bruising may occur. The initial redness will subside on the second day, and some patients then notice some swelling and a sandpaper texture to the skin the day after treatment. By the third day, the swelling should diminish. The sandpaper texture to the skin may persist for up to a week.
The key ingredient for the Vampire Facelift® is the platelet-rich fibrin matrix, which is derived from the patient’s own blood before being mixed with other factors. These properties make platelet-rich fibrin matrix an ideal natural serum for rejuvenating facial skin quality, as it increases collagen production, increases blood supply, and triggers new skin and fatty tissue generation, thus creating the youthful appearance that comes with generating new, healthier skin in a safe and natural way.
PRP is a concentrated source of platelets, growth factors and cytokines produced naturally in your own body, and stimulates and controls healthy regenerative processes, including collagen and soft tissue remodeling, and thereby improves overall health and rejuvenation. PRP has been used successfully for years to promote improved healing times and optimal results from various surgical and non-surgical procedures. The PRP, painlessly obtained through a small blood draw, is injected after dermal filler and enhances the results of this amazing procedure.
So, what is it and how does it work, exactly? Don't let the name fool you. In fact, "It's usually done in full light of day," says Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Ava Shamban. In all seriousness, the treatment is a "combination of a microdermabrasion, followed by the application of PRP (platelet-rich plasma)," says Shamban. "The PRP is derived from the serum portion of the blood, which contains platelets. The platelets contain high levels of growth factors, which, when applied to the skin, will stimulate cell turnover."