This is so funny, because my friends used to tease me my entire life that I looked like a vampire because of my under eye circles. They were bad. I am pale, and they were so dark, I was beginning to think I was related to Dracula. My friend said that I should go do a Vampire face-lift, and I thought it was some kind of a joke, obviously. But she was really serious. Then I read about it, and it’s actually like a mini face lift, that is supposed to rejuvenate your face and improve the areas you are not happy with, by using your own blood. That didn’t sound bad to me, and after all the years of teasing I decide to try out the platelet rich plasma therapy, that was so raved about. I have to say that the results weren’t immediate. But after a few months my dark circles became lighter and lighter…I still kept my nickname, but now it’s funny to me, since I know it’s the Vampire therapy that actually helps me.
A vampire facial is a combination of microneedling and PRP. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a concentrate of platelet-rich plasma protein derived from the whole blood after it has been processed by spinning in a centrifuge to remove the red cells. The PRP has a greater concentration of growth factors than the whole blood. And growth factors are what our cells make that can help tissue heal and repair, which means it can help with all sorts of skin issues.
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.
"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."
There's no evidence at all that this gory procedure works, and only the babiest starting evidence that injecting platelets into the skin works at all against the appearance of aging. But there probably is little harm, at least, to plasma injections because they deal with the patient's own body fluids, dermatologists say. The technologies dermatologists use for the facials are U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved for adding plasma to bone before orthopedic surgery... but not for wrinkle-busting.
The New Mexico Department of Health has since shut down the spa and is urging any of its clients who received a vampire facial or other injection-based treatments in May or June of this year to get tested for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C for free at the Midtown Public Health Office. The statement does not mention which of these infections the client contracted, nor which specific treatment the individual had received.
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.
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).
The patient is numbed with a topical anesthetic gel. The PRFM is then injected with a short, small gauge needle into the desired areas of the face. The PRFM induces growth of new blood vessels, skin cells and collagen resulting in a healthy glow, better color, better tone, reduced wrinkles and sagging. The new blood flow helps create volume and shape, lifting the skin and sculpting the face. In 30 minutes, you are on your way to a new you with a more youthful appearance!
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I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t super amped about this assignment because it sounded like this was going to hurt, but I’ll do whatever it takes for a good story. Plus, I knew I was in good hands because one of my favorite estheticians, Rhiannon Terese would be performing the treatment at Lorenc Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Med Spa. Dr.Lorenc is famous for inventing the Botox brow lift. As a fan of Botox I took this as a very good sign. That and the fact that I’d heard nothing but rave reviews about the plastic surgeon and his practice.
Unlike other facial treatments, the Vampire FaceLift addresses many different signs of aging. Surgical face-lifts often fix sagging skin but do little to help with the loss of structure or natural plumpness. Fillers, on the other hand, can help treat unsightly wrinkles, but because treatment is so targeted it can result in a more visible, less natural effect.
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.
Also known as the Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial (which is not nearly as goth), the procedure can only be performed by a licensed medical professional – a regulation that VIP Spa in Albuquerque was allegedly violating. A “vampire facial” involves drawing blood from the patient, and then using a centrifuge to extract the platelet-rich plasma (PRP). After a round of microdermabrasion or microneedling – procedures which cause tiny injuries to the skin – the plasma is injected or slathered on the patient’s face like a mask.
The statement doesn't mention which specific practices might have led to infections. But hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV can all be spread through contact with bodily fluids, including blood. The owner of VIP Spa is also encouraging clients to get tested, though she told local news station KOB 4 that she always used new needles during the treatments.
"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."
Sclafani's injections are an off-label use of Selphyl, the Aesthetic Factors technology that separates plasma from the blood. Bruce Katz, another New York dermatologist who offers individual injections, uses a similar technology made by the Swiss company Regen Lab. Katz advertises "twilight plasma renewal treatment" on his website. His patients get about 20 injections at once in the face, neck and décolleté, he says.
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.
If you decide to get this procedure please run screaming from the room if anyone other than a doctor tries to draw your blood. This is something that must be done by a doctor. The rest of the procedure can be performed by a well-trained and highly skilled esthetician. Before you book, do your research! When there are needles and blood involved in anything whether it’s a spa treatment, tattoo, or piercing — you need to know exactly who you’re working with to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.
Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Amiya Prasad has appeared on Fox News New York performing The Vampire Facelift®, and has made a commentary about the procedure in The New York Post, The Daily News, and Access Hollywood. The procedure has been featured nationally on The Doctors, Dr. Oz, CBS News, the New York Times, ABC’s Nightline and The Huffington Post. Dr. Prasad is recognized as one of the leading doctors of The Vampire Facelift® by his clients, the viewing public, and by The Vampire Facelift® Inventor, Dr. Charles Runels.
The Vampire Facelift® is actually not a surgical facelift at all, but rather a type of skin treatment using the body’s own natural healing and growth factors that are derived from your own blood (hence the name The Vampire Facelift®), combined with a hyaluronic acid dermal filler. The procedure is a near painless series of injections into strategic areas of the face to reduce wrinkles, add youthful volume, and improve the quality of your skin.
Lauren Crain is a writer, designer, and joke-teller. As a sexual health and wellness researcher and writer, she's adamant about spreading credible knowledge and eliminating misinformation. Her writing has been featured on The Muse, Insider, Clutch, Her Campus, and Business News Daily. When she's not writing, designing, or trying to make people laugh, you can find her watching 30 Rock with her partner and their cat and dog.
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?
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."