"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."
The day leading up to my appointment, my best friend continually cringed at the idea of my soon-to-be bloody face while my mom made sure to text me every five minutes asking if this is really something I wanted to go through with, having sensitive skin and all. While their concerns pushed me to the point of advising my editor that I may need to work from home the next day if I look busted AF (since bruising and redness are possible short-term results), I stuck to my appointment and headed to the Upper East Side to arrive early for a treatment that, at the very best, could change the way I view my complexion, and, at the very worst, put me out of commission for a couple of days.
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Watch and wait: Growth factors contained in the plasma stimulate the release of the skin’s stem cells. The skin is being tricked into believing that it has been injured and must heal itself with new, fresh tissue. This somewhat sneaky process allows the skin to create new collagen, new blood vessels, and new cells. The results will not be immediate, so while you patiently wait a few weeks and even a few months, your skin will begin to transform itself.
Many people coming to our practice choose the Vampire Facelift® because it’s a non-surgical procedure. The term “facelift” when used in the context of the “Vampire Facelift®” describes how volume placed artistically and strategically under the skin can “lift” the skin away from the bony structure creating a more youthful appearance. As people get older, the fat under the skin decreases making the person look more hollow.
PRFM is an outpatient procedures that, as of March 2011, costs about $900 to $1,500 in the U.S. and takes less than half an hour. Blood is drawn from the patient's arm and spun in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets, which are then injected back under the patient's facial skin. It can also be combined in a specific way with other fillers. A procedure using this combination has been marketed as the "Vampire facelift"."
This injection of PRP into the face activates multipotent stem cells and tricks the body into generating new tissue, as it would after an injury. The patient’s system will naturally grow collagen for moisture and a more youthful face, new fatty tissue for smoothness and new blood vessels for a glowing complexion. The procedure was inspired by how your body heals after an injury.
The Vampire Facelift procedure only takes about an hour to complete, and that includes the: blood draw, preparation of the PRP, platelet-rich fibrin matrix, and The Vampire Facelift® treatment itself. Since skin renewal and rejuvenation is using the body’s own active regeneration components, facial skin renewal is continual for about 3 months after the procedure. The overall effects of the Vampire Facelift® can last for over a year.
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."