A vampire facial may sound a little gory to the average person. But trust us when we say that the results can leave your skin looking anything but scary. In fact, once you learn about its age-defying benefits, you may feel motivated to contact Specialist Skin Solutions to schedule your very first appointment. While the procedure does involve the extraction of your own blood, don’t panic! This trendy yet bizarre anti-ageing treatment is minimally invasive, requires little downtime and most importantly, it is safe and only slightly uncomfortable.
What is the vampire facial?
Dr Charles Runels from Alabama (USA) developed the vampire facial, or PRP (platelet-rich plasma) facial around 2010, but it’s not an entirely new procedure. Since the mid-1990’s, basic PRP treatments have been used in plastic surgery to promote tissue healing and reduce inflammation. In recent years, some athletes like like Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez have turned to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to help heal wounded tissues.
During treatment, the patient’s platelet-rich plasma is separated from their red and white blood cells. Next, this concentrated plasma is injected into the patient’s injured area. The plasma–rich in platelets–are made up of enzymes that play a big role in tissue regeneration and attracting stem cells to assist in the repair during the healing process.
The vampire facial obtains platelet-rich plasma in the very same manner as above, however, microneedles are then used to make small punctures in the skin so that the PRP can be absorbed. To create these tiny openings in the skin, some doctors may use a small, skin needling tool called a dermastamp. This device “stamps” the skin in order to create tiny holes which allows the patient’s skin to easily soak up the platelet-rich plasma to achieve a more youthful glow.
What are the benefits?
The vampire facial offers a natural way to improve the appearance of a patient’s skin quickly and without having to go under the knife. It also costs a lot less than a facelift, and all skin tones can take advantage of the procedure. Many patients who have the procedure performed will experience the following benefits:
- Fewer fine lines
- An increase in collagen production
- Fewer sun spots
- Tighter skin
- Reduced acne scarring
- Decreased pore size
- A reduction in hyperpigmentation
- Improved skin texture
According to Dr Runels, the effects of the procedure improve for two to three months and last anywhere from one to two years.
Who is a candidate?
Of course, you don’t have to be a celebrity to have the procedure done. Patients who wish to look as young as they feel are likely good candidates for a vampire facial. The procedure is perfect for most women and men who suffer from sun damage, fine lines and an uneven skin tone. For anyone over the age of 40, several treatments spaced four to six weeks apart are usually recommended to achieve optimal results. Younger patients may only need one.
Patients living with certain health-related issues such as HIV, cancer or bleeding and clotting disorders should avoid this treatment. For patients with advanced skin ageing, they should have realistic expectations going in. While a vampire facial can certainly turn back the hands of time, it won’t shave off decades if deep wrinkles and saggy skin are severe. A facelift may be the better option.
How is the treatment done?
Treatment time for a vampire facial will vary depending on the number of areas the patient wishes to target. For most patients, though, the procedure typically lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. The procedure requires only a few steps:
- Similar to getting a blood test done, a doctor will first draw blood from the patient’s arm. Usually, only one vial of blood is needed; however, at times, two vials may be drawn.
- Next, using a centrifuge, the physician will isolate the patient’s platelets from that blood. This part takes about ten minutes.
- Once the blood separation is complete, a physician will generally place a numbing cream on the patient’s face to alleviate any pain from the microneedling process.
- Using a microneedling tool called a dermastamp, a doctor creates thousands of tiny holes in the patient’s skin. This will stimulate the skin’s tissue and assist in the rejuvenation process.
- Once this step is complete, a patient’s entire face is covered in the platelet-rich plasma. These PRPs turn on stem cells already in the skin, tricking them into “thinking” there’s been an injury. As a result, new, younger tissues are generated, in turn, creating younger looking skin for the patient.
What does it feel like?
Prior to any sort of cosmetic procedure that our talented, trained staff performs, most patients pose the obvious question, “Will it hurt?” The truth is it depends. The good news is that for most people the answer is “No.” A numbing cream applied before treatment will normally minimise any discomfort. Some patients may feel a little pressure and slight sting during the microneedling process. After the procedure, patients may experience some degree of redness, bruising, dryness and flakiness. While the healing period typically lasts about a week, most people are able to carry on their normal daily activities without any problems. Women who wear makeup can usually continue doing so following treatment.
Does it really work?
The short answer to this question is a resounding “YES!” Research has shown that blood-based facials can, in fact, deliver real results. According to one study published in Dermatologic Surgery, 12 healthy women ranging from 45 to 65-years-old underwent three sessions of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections into facial skin at 1-month intervals. After the completion of the experiment, researchers observed that the women’s skin over time had significant improvements in elasticity and smoothness. Studies published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology have also revealed similar findings.
Of course, if studies aren’t convincing enough, perhaps patients who’ve actually had the procedure are. RealSelf, the leading and most trusted source for people considering an elective cosmetic treatment, reported that nearly 90 percent of its users who’ve undergone vampire facial treatments say it is worth it and recommend it to others.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Glenn Francis
Celebrities who indulge in vampire facials
Vampire facials have been around for nearly a decade, however, it wasn’t until Kim Kardashian West uploaded a photo to Instagram in 2013 that the procedure gained “international fame.” In the image, the reality star sported a bare face covered in her own blood. As you can imagine, this cause quite the frenzy over the internet. Other stars have also indulged in the procedure in order to maintain their youthful features. This includes Jennifer Aniston, Harry Styles and Angelina Jolie.
Can I afford it?
A vampire facial is the cheaper alternative to plastic surgery procedures that help to turn back the hands of time. The cost for a vampire facial ranges from $900 to $1,500 in Australia. However, make sure you have the procedure performed by a seasoned medical professional. That’s because not all vampire facials are created equal. And as the popular saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Some clinics offer different treatment grades which can have little to no effect at all. Make sure do you homework prior to scheduling an appointment. Most importantly, ask questions!
Ready for a new you?
If you suffer from fine lines, facial scarring, rough skin or uneven colour, know that you do have options. If you desire flawless skin, a vampire facial may be the perfect solution for you. At Specialist Skin Solutions we enjoy helping patients improve their self-confidence through a variety of cosmetic treatment options. We know that no two patients are alike and cater each treatment specifically to each individual. Find out how he can help you by setting up your first consultation. Contact us today at 1300 370 307.