One of the most talked about minimally invasive, anti-aging aesthetic procedures available right now is the Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial, also known as the Vampire Facial. Many celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian, have made this treatment popular by sharing their experiences online and with their followers on social media, but it is still a medical procedure that should be done by a qualified, trained professional in a medical setting.
This facial treatment uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that is taken from your own blood and then applied to or injected into the top layers of your skin. This may sound a little frightening, but this nonsurgical facial rejuvenation is fairly straightforward. The nutrients and growth factors that are found the PRP from your blood are used to rejuvenate the appearance of facial tissue and stimulate the production of more collagen.
Although blood consists mostly of liquid, which is called plasma, it also contains small solid components such as red cells, white cells, and platelets. Platelets are best known for their important role in clotting blood, but they also contain a number of growth factors that work to stimulate skin renewal, collagen synthesis, tissue regeneration and cell growth.
PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is plasma that has many more platelets than what is typically found in blood. The concentration of platelets in PRP can be 5 to 10 times greater, or richer, than usual. This means that the concentration of growth factors is also much greater.
For a PRP Facial, first a small amount of your blood is drawn, typically from your arm. The amount of blood drawn is usually somewhere between 2 and 10 teaspoons, depending on the areas being treated. The blood is then put into a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma from the other components of the blood. After topical anesthetic is applied to minimize any discomfort, the PRP is injected into the areas of the face where you want to lift the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles with multiple injections using a small needle. Another method is to perform microneedling on the skin, and then apply the PRP topically. This allows the PRP to penetrate the skin where the microneedling has created small punctures in the skin with very small needles.
This procedure might sound a little scary, especially when it is referred to as the Vampire Facial, but with proper numbing ahead of time it can be fairly effortless and painless.The facial is not really as bloody as seen in some pictures online and within social media (which have most likely been dramatized), but some bleeding and/or discomfort can be expected due to the multiple injections in the facial tissue.
A PRP Facial helps rejuvenate the skin, and reduces the appearance of fine lines, hyperpigmentation and some types of scars. For the best results a series of treatments is recommended, which will promote collagen production, leading to smoother, softer skin and more of an “awake” appearance. It can also help improve acne and broken capillaries.
For the best results, a series of four treatments separated by 4-6 weeks is typically recomended. The benefits of PRP build over time with each additional treatment, but improvements can be noticeable for some patients after the initial treatment.
The PRP Facial and PRP Facelift, also referred to as the Vampire Facial and Vampire Facelift, have some similarities but they are different procedures that provide different ant-aging results. Both treatments use PRP to encourage the skin to heal itself and look its best for a significant time after the procedure. With both treatments, the results continually improve for few weeks after getting it done, and they usually last for a minimum of 12 months or longer.
For a PRP Facial, either microneedling is done on the skin and the PRP is then applied, or it is injected with many small, superficial injections across the face. During a PRP Facelift, PRP is injected under the skin specifically in the places where it is needed. This is similar to dermal fillers, which can also be used in conjunction with PRP in a PRP Facelift to provide even better results.
The downtime for a PRP facial is minimal. Most patients feel comfortable returning to normal activity the following day, or even the same day of the treatment. Some patients might have redness and a sensation that resembles having a sunburn for the first 24 hrs.
The risk of a reaction or allergy with a PRP Facial is next to nothing because you are using your own blood. There have not been any significant side effects or long-term complications reported from a PRP facial, but as with any medical procedure there can be risks involved. If you are considering getting a PRP, or Vampire Facial, be sure that you seek out a qualified and well-trained medical professional.