I have had 2 of these treatments 6 weeks apart…. I am due for my 3rd treatment this coming Monday but considering canceling as I really have not noticed any results…. The pain was excruciating – even with the topical numbing agent on my face for 20-30 min. I also was swollen for a couple days and bruised for well over a week. Not sure I want to go through the pain for this last treatment if I am not going to see any results….
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.
Key complications are reoperation, implant removal with or without replacement, implant rupture with silicone-filled implants, implant deflation with saline-filled implants, and severe capsular contracture (severe scar tissue around the implant). Other complications include asymmetry, nipple/breast/skin sensation changes, scarring, or wrinkling/rippling. Talk to your doctor about other complications.

The main differentiator of the Vampire Facial is that instead of injecting the patient’s PRP in to the face, you use microneedling device, such as the Dermapen, to create microscopic pinpoint injuries to the face and then apply the PRP directly onto the surface of the skin. This process was famously used on reality TV star Kim Kardashian and went viral in 2014.
The evidence isn’t clear for either of those assumptions in this case. PRP has been studied in a variety of medical settings to assist with healing, but evidence that shows it helps with skin rejuvenation are still relatively new. Dermatologists do seem to agree that PRP can improve pores, acne scars, and fine lines, which have caused vampire facials to become very popular, especially at med spas like the one in New Mexico.
“Thanks to modern science, we now know that platelets contain various factors that stimulate the production of collagen, elastic fibers and new blood vessels,” says Mandeville. “Microneedling causes direct trauma to the skin. As a result, the body rushes to repair the wounds, sending platelets and cells to the rescue. As platelets play a significant role in terms of growth factors, it seems particularly appealing to inject the plasma back into the skin through the punctured holes to really speed up the healing of the tissues.”
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.
Ever since Kim was seen walking into a spa with her BFF Jonathan Cheban to get the snap-worthy procedure, the world of influencers and everyday beauty lovers converged, making way for this crazy facial to be the topic of conversation and consideration IRL. And so I made an appointment to sit down with Dr. Marina Peredo at Skinfluence in New York City to get the 4-1-1 on all things bloody and beautiful. 
“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.

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.

PRP is the “magic” behind both the Vampire Facelift and the Vampire Facial. PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma and is a component of your own blood. It contains platelets including both stem cells and growth factors. PRP is obtained by drawing blood and then processing it in a centrifuge to separate these vital growth factors. Because the PRP is “spun out” from the blood, the concentration of the growth factors and stem cells is much higher than what is found in regular blood. Then, the PRP can be utilized in either an injection (for the Vampire Facelift) or as part of a microneedling procedure (for the Vampire Facial).
The procedure has been around for several years, but became more widely available after Kim Kardashian posted a blood-slathered selfie on Instagram in 2013, after filming the procedure for an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians spin-off Kourtney & Kim Take Miami. Earlier this year, Kardashian reflected on the experience in a post on her blog; the text is only available to paid subscribers, but honestly, the bloody photo, headline (“The Skincare Treatment I’ll Never Do Again”) and caption (“So Not Worth It!”) – not to mention the mysterious infection in Albuquerque – just about sums it up.
Key complications are reoperation, implant removal with or without replacement, implant rupture with silicone-filled implants, implant deflation with saline-filled implants, and severe capsular contracture (severe scar tissue around the implant). Other complications include asymmetry, nipple/breast/skin sensation changes, scarring, or wrinkling/rippling. Talk to your doctor about other complications.
During a Vampire FaceLift®, the PRP is injected back into your face in a precise and defined manner. These injections can reduce fine lines and wrinkles and help brighten gaunt or ghoulish-looking skin. They may also help refresh and add volume to certain areas of the face, such as the under-eye hollows. In addition, many doctors are studying the use of PRP in wound healing.
The Vampire FaceLift® Procedure™ is not as gruesome as a visit from Count Dracula. Your board-certified plastic surgeon begins by drawing blood from your arm. He or she then spins the blood to separate out the plasma. Blood plasma contains platelets, which are proteins and growth factors that stimulate collagen production, among other bodily functions. Collagen, in turn, is the protein that makes our skin look and feel supple, elastic and youthful.
I’ve been wanting to get a thread lift for quite some time. My neckline is saggy. I am in my fifties but my skin is not elastic at all and just sags more with each day. While I was going through the reviews, I stumbled upon one that recommended a very new procedure that is even more efficient and less painful and easy to recover from. It was the vampire facial treatment. Since it had such a strange name, I thought it was some kid’s game or something, to tease us older people. But on the contrary, it’s an effective procedure that gives fascinating results, and all it takes is your own blood. I tried it out, and I am more than happy. I would recommend it to anyone with saggy skin. It lifted my entire face and made me look several years younger. And I don’t feel like an old bag any more. Trust me, it’s worth every penny.
“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.”
The average cost of a platelet rich plasma therapy treatment for cosmetic purposes in Indianapolis, Carmel , Westfield and Zionsville is roughly $600 – $900, 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 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 who is allowed to inject the plasma into the appropriate depths of the skin.
"Platelet-rich plasma therapy, particularly when combined with other anti-aging treatments like microneedling, can help soften the appearance of common signs of aging, such as fine lines and loss of skin tone," he said. "Because it enhances your natural collagen production, it can also firm and smooth the skin for a more youthful complexion and reduce sun damage and scarring."
When I expressed my concern for the blood-free end result, Dr. Peredo and Nurse Shellock explained that part of why Kim K looked so bloody is because, back in 2013 when that particular episode of Kim and Kourtney Take Miami aired, the normal vampire facial procedure was to apply whole blood to the skin while microneedling, where nowadays technology has advanced to using the most regenerating part of blood, the PRP. While both methods use blood drawn on site, the PRP method extracts the platelets from the red blood cells after being put through the centrifuge. And so, I finally understood why my Kim K-inspired expectations weren’t fully met. 
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.
“Thanks to modern science, we now know that platelets contain various factors that stimulate the production of collagen, elastic fibers and new blood vessels,” says Mandeville. “Microneedling causes direct trauma to the skin. As a result, the body rushes to repair the wounds, sending platelets and cells to the rescue. As platelets play a significant role in terms of growth factors, it seems particularly appealing to inject the plasma back into the skin through the punctured holes to really speed up the healing of the tissues.”
The procedure is relatively simple and performed in the office in under an hour. First, while your skin is numbing topically, we draw your blood and separate your platelets. Then we spread them over the treatment area and use a micro needling device to deliver the platelets deep into your tissues. The micro needling will stimulate the cells that you already have in your skin to make new collagen and elastin while causing tightening and lightening. Meanwhile, the platelets will signal to your natural stem cells to migrate to the treated areas and they will become brand new skin cells.
These completely automatic and adjustable devices penetrate at the right speed and depth through the outer, superficial layer of the skin (the epidermis) into the slightly deeper layer (the dermis) just underneath. Nothing is injected; the procedure is really just the “needling” itself, which in turn stimulates the dermis to release certain special active biomolecules into the surrounding skin.
As far as risks go, there aren't as many as you might think. In fact, Shamban explained that the only risk you really run is bruising at the time of the venipuncture. Aside from the discomfort of a blood draw and bruising from injection or microneedling, Zeichner says the vampire facial is "extremely safe, as it is your body's own blood being recycled."
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