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.
These platelets, when injected into certain areas of the face, can encourage blood flow, assist with the production of collagen, and activate multipotent stem cells already present in the skin. In time, this procedure will even stimulate the body to produce new skin cells, generating younger tissue and reducing the signs of aging throughout the treated area. This will promote healthy collagen production and restore vitality to the blood vessels and fatty tissues in the neck and face.
I had mine done 3 days ago. There is bruising around my mouth and under my left eye and it was far from painless. However, the improvement in my brow and skin above my eyelids was instantaneous. I no longer feel like my face is melting! My eyebrows were right above my eyes and I had a lot of looses skin that came down and covered my eyelids. My brows are now lifted and you can actually see my eyelids! I continue to see improvements every day.
After that, it was time for Dr.Lorenc to take a small amount of blood from my arm. When I talk with anyone about the procedure this is the step that makes them squirm the most. It was so quick and painless, I really don’t get what all the fuss is about. Once my blood was drawn it was spun in a centrifuge at a fast rate to separate the highly concentrated platelets from the red cells. While I waited for the centrifuge to work its magic I chatted with Rhiannon about the benefits of this procedure.
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.
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.
Once the microneedling was in full swing I was surprised at how little it actually hurt. I’m not going to say it was painless, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined. It helped that throughout the 30-minute procedure Rhiannon made sure to check with me to see if I was in too much pain or needed a break. She also told me exactly what she was doing so there were no surprises and kindly warned me when it was time to needle my non-fatty areas because those are the spots that made me flinch.
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."