The treatment triggers collagen production by using your own blood
Hoping to minimize your facial lines and wrinkles? If you don’t want surgery, there are other options.
One approach, the plasma-rich protein (PRP) facial — also known as a “vampire” facial” — combines plasma and platelets from your blood with other rejuvenation techniques.
“It triggers collagen production by stimulating the body’s natural wound healing response,” says dermatologist Chontirot Srikasedsarakul MD from Revival Clinic Bangkok. “Collagen is the latticework of the face, so a PRP microneedling treatment helps improve skin texture and tone.”
What is a vampire facial?
PRP facials are medical, rather than cosmetic procedures. Your medical team first takes a small amount of your blood.
Then, they spin it in a centrifuge to extract protein-rich plasma. Next, they extract platelets. Finally, they concentrate the sample, creating what is called platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
While dermatologists recently started using PRP to stimulate collagen production, orthopaedic doctors have injected PRP to heal injured joints — typically ankles, knees and elbows — for many years.
It’s the high amount of growth factors in PRP that help your body heal.
Benefits of a vampire facial
A vampire facial can be useful for those who have scars, wrinkles or sun damage.
By reintroducing PRP back into the skin, cell turnover is encouraged, which leads to an increase of collagen and elastin production. Your skin will look smoother, tighter and fuller.
How does it work?
You can get a vampire facial in a few different ways.
One option includes having the plasma spread on your face, followed by microneedling across your cheeks and forehead to help your face absorb the proteins.
Microneedling is exactly what it sounds like — a procedure that creates a series of tiny, superficial punctures using sterile needles.
“Both PRP and microneedling stimulate collagen growth, and are complementary when done together,” explains Dr. Chontirot.
Another option, called the “vampire facelift,” includes having the plasma injected into your skin.
The PRP procedure is safe for almost everyone, except for those with clotting conditions that require blood thinners or people with other blood-related health issues.
Also, when skin is quite loose or has extreme sun damage, non-invasive treatments may not produce a dramatic improvement. You would likely do better with surgery instead, Dr. Chontirot notes.
If you opt for a vampire facial, you will need a series of treatments 4 to 6 weeks apart to achieve the best results. You might also need additional maintenance procedures as time passes.