"The term “vampire facial” may throw some people off, leading to a misconception that this is a quick, easy treatment," Hah said. "However, PRP therapy is a medical procedure that should always be performed by a physician who has specific experience with the technique. In addition to blood needing to be drawn safely and with sterile instruments, micro-injuries are created in the facial skin during the microneedling process—which can leave room for infection if the proper care is not taken."
Using numbing cream and a very small needle (for almost no pain), the patient’s own growth factors are injected back into her face in a particular way. These growth factors then activate multipotent stem cells already in the skin which is tricking them into “thinking” there’s been an injury and new younger tissue is generated. The multipotent stem cells then develop into new collagen, new blood vessels, and new fatty tissue trying to “repair” the skin that was never injured!
When my editorial team first received an e-mail asking if one of us wanted to try a procedure that most people mistakenly refer to as the Vampire Facial, everyone except for this brave soul was too nervous to try it. The reason why? During the treatment blood is drawn from your arm and its platelet-rich plasma is extracted to be used as a serum during the process of microneedling.
Providers of the Vampire Facelift (R) procedure take into account the mathematics of beauty as defined by much research (starting with the notebooks of Lonardo da Vinci) to avoid at all costs creating an unnatural shape. These ideas about the HA fillers are not commonly known even among the best of cosmetic surgeons and constitute part of the intellectual property protected by the trademarked name (Vampire Facelift®).
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.
In case you don’t remember high school biology, “Platelets are the cells that circulate within our blood and bind together when they recognize damaged blood vessels,” says Dr. Marlene Williams of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. When the body is wounded, platelets come to the wound site and stick together to create a clot and stop bleeding. They also encourage the growth of new tissues. This new tissue growth is what scientists, doctors, and spas that use Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy are after.