By now, you have heard about Kim Kardashian West and her Vampire Facial. You may have even seen pictures or videos online.
Let’s face it— it looked pretty gruesome. But looks can be deceiving, particularly when it comes to the Vampire Facial. The name even illicit chills up and down the spine!
So let’s dispense with the scary stuff and get down to the truth of the matter about this procedure that is formally called a PRP facial. PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma.
PRP procedures have been around for quite a while. Orthopedic surgeons have been using PRP for years to help athletes recover more quickly after an injury.
In the dermatology world, PRP is being tested as a treatment for hair loss. PRP may also speed up wound healing.
Now a few dermatologists are using PRP in the form of a facial to give patients younger-looking skin. Their patients are finding that PRP can:
- Reduce wrinkles
- Plump up sagging skin
- Get rid of deep creases
- Improve one’s complexion
- Diminish acne scars
Although the treatment sounds a little out of the ordinary for a facial, the process is actually quite straightforward. The PRP facial is an anti-aging procedure that uses your own blood to help promote the healthy activity of your skin cells.
Even though dermatologists have only recently started using PRP as a facial treatment, orthopedic doctors have used PRP injections to heal joint injuries in:
In this way, it is a tested medical procedure with a long history of excellent results.
What to Expect When You Have a PRP Treatment
The treatment will take place in a medical office. This is not a spa facial. Typically a dermatologist will perform the treatment.
PRP Treatment Step by Step
1. We will draw your blood.
A small amount of blood (about 2 to 4 tablespoons) will be drawn from your arm.
2. We will take your blood to the lab.
The test tube containing your blood will be placed into a centrifuge, which is a medical device that separates your blood into layers.
One of these layers contains a high concentration of platelets. These platelets contain growth factors that help to stimulate rapid cell replenishment and rejuvenation of healthy cells.
3. We will re-inject your blood.
Your dermatologist will inject the part of the blood that contains the high concentration of platelets into your face or scalp using a syringe or b microneedling.
Microneedling is a procedure that creates a series of tiny, superficial punctures using sterile needles. These punctures trigger collagen production. Collagen is what keeps the skin plump and supple.
4. We may use additional fillers.
To enhance results, your dermatologist may also inject a filler like botox or Juvederm.
Why Use PRP Drawn from Your Own Body?
Platelet-rich plasma is rich in growth factors. It can help your skin function optimally while increasing collagen and elastin.
These platelets come from your own body and know how to interact with it specifically. They act as antioxidants giving you a healthy boost and have hydrating properties that act as a powerful anti-aging methods.
- The PRP procedure takes about 45 minutes to one hour. And there’s little to no downtime for recovery.
- For best results, one or two treatments about two months apart will be required.
- Full results should be apparent within one to two weeks.
- Results can last as long as 18 months.
What You Should Know
- The PRP procedure is safe for most individuals. If you have clotting conditions that require blood thinners or have other blood-related health issues, this treatment is not for you.
- If your skin is very loose or has extreme sun damage, noninvasive treatments like this may not produce a dramatic improvement.
- Few studies have been conducted about PRP, so dermatologists are still working out exactly how many treatments are required for the best results, precisely how far apart the treatments should be given, how much and where PRP is best injected, and whether or not there are long term consequences.
- Although dermatologists still have many unanswered questions, the procedure itself appears safe.
- Any pain, bruising, and swelling will settle down within a few days.
- Use an experienced practitioner. The biggest risk comes from the way your blood is handled. The blood removed from your body must be kept sterile. Otherwise, you could develop an infection.
- Use a facility that is committed to following the same process that transfusion centers use to make sure that your own blood is injected back into you. Receiving someone else’s blood by mistake could make you very sick.
Who Is PRP Rejuvenation Right For?
People with premature wrinkles and high levels of sun exposure damage are great candidates for PRP facials. If you’ve tried to achieve improved skin tone using other methods without success, then PRP facials are an ideal option for you.
PRP is considered safe for most people, but it is not recommended for individuals with the following medical conditions:
- Hepatitis C
- HIV or AIDS
- Any blood cancer
- Cardiovascular disease, which requires taking a blood thinner
- Skin cancer in the area to be treated
How Much Should I Expect to Pay?
Medical insurance does not cover PRP. Session fees can range from $250 to $1,500 per treatment.
Now that we have cleared up any misunderstandings or fears around the “Vampire Facial,” let’s take a moment to consider that if you are looking for the following, then a PRP facial may be what you need.
- Stimulate collagen growth
- Tighten lax skin
- Improve skin tone
- Smooth out fine lines and wrinkles
When you think you’ve tried everything and you’re wondering what’s next, PRP facials are the answer!