What Is a Vampire Facial?

Reviewed on 12/18/2020
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is also called a vampire facial.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is also called a vampire facial.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is also called a vampire facial. It is a facial rejuvenation treatment. PRP treatment uses plasma (liquid part) taken from your blood to stimulate collagen production, which helps reduce fine lines, folds, wrinkles, open pores, and pigmentation, as well as improve the overall health of the skin. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is concentrated blood plasma that contains up to five times the number of platelets (clotting cells) found in normal circulating blood. It also contains substances like platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), and other bioactive proteins that help in skin rejuvenation. PRP can also be performed on the scalp to stimulate hair growth as a treatment for thinning of hair or baldness. Results from PRP treatment of the face are natural-looking and subtle, and they can last for at least 2 years, but it can take a few weeks to start seeing changes. PRP is minimally invasive and has no risk of allergic reactions or transmission of infections because the treatment utilizes your blood. PRP can be used to treat nearly any part of the body for rejuvenation.

How does PRP benefit the skin?

The body cells that aid tissues in healing and producing new cells are called platelets. They help in tissue healing and the generation of new cells. Hence, when PRP is injected into the skin, which helps in collagen stimulation and tissue regeneration, it makes the skin look smoother, tighter, and younger. The results of PRP are not instant like dermal fillers. PRP is injected all over the face causing collagen growth resulting in complete facial rejuvenation. PRP makes the face appear brighter, smoothes out wrinkles, aids in filling up hollowed cheeks, reduces pore size, and reduces acne scars. The results of PRP are not dramatic but gradual and appear natural.

How is PRP performed?

The results of the PRP treatment may vary with each individual and multiple treatment sessions may be required to achieve desirable results. The following describes the procedure of the PRP treatment:

  • The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. A numbing cream is applied over the skin and left on till the skin is completely numb, hence there is no pain during the procedure.
  • Around 30 ml of blood is collected from a vein in the arm (like during a regular blood test) and then, it is spun in a centrifuge machine for around 8-10 minutes till the plasma, which is yellow in color, separates from the rest of the blood.
  • The plasma is then injected all over the face using an insulin syringe, which has a short and thin needle. The entire procedure takes 20 minutes.
  • After the procedure, the doctor usually applies ice to reduce swelling and bruising.
  • The skin usually becomes reddish after the procedure, and there may be swelling and bruising that usually resolves in a couple of days.
  • Patients can return to their daily activities immediately after the procedure.
  • Makeup may be applied the day after the procedure.
  • The doctor may advise avoiding certain medications like antiplatelets for a few days before and after the procedure. The amount of blood taken from the body can be from 10 ml to 30 ml, based on the number of targeted areas to be treated.
  • It takes around 2-3 weeks after the procedure to start seeing visible improvements in the skin and around 4-6 weeks to see a marked difference.

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References
Health Essentials. Can a ‘Blood Facial’ Make You Look Younger? Cleveland Clinic. June 12, 2018. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-a-blood-facial-make-you-look-younger/

American Academy of Dermatology Association. Is Platelet-Rich Plasma the Secret to Younger-Looking Skin? https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/younger-looking/platelet-rich-plasma-secret-to-younger-skin

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