Would you inject your own blood into your face to fight ageing?
Vampire facelift or the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment has been creating waves in the beauty industry. More so, after Kim Kardashian tried it in her much publicised reality TV show. The treatment though painful, holds the elixir to youthful-looking skin. We ask cosmetic dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad more about this treatment.
What is the vampire facelift?
PRP or the vampire facelift is so called because your own blood is taken and after separation of different constituents, the plasma with the platelets is reinjected into the skin. PRP has a long history of being used in orthopaedic medicine, dentistry, and reconstructive surgery, and now its benefits are being applied to other fields of medicine such as dermatology and cosmetology as this plasma is rich in platelets and it contains growth factors which stimulate skin regeneration.
Platelets are an important component in our blood and are necessary for normal clotting. However, these very same platelets when activated, release several proteins as well as growth factors which release stem cells, increasing collagen formation, skin-tightening and overall rejuvenation. Due to all these benefits, it is also called ‘Facial Stem Cell Regeneration’ therapy.
How is the vampire facelift done?
This cutting-edge rejuvenation treatment is a quick 20-30 minute procedure. A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient and placed in a sterile tube. Whilst the patient waits, it is spun down in a centrifuge at a pre-calculated speed for 5 to 10 minutes to separate the different components of the blood.
Red and white blood cells are divided from the platelets and the plasma (the clear fluid). This plasma now contains a higher than normal number of precious platelets, nearly fivefold. The separated platelets are then activated with calcium chloride, to release more growth factors.
Local anaesthesia is given and the platelet-rich plasma is injected into the appropriate areas with very small needles similar to those used in Botox injections.
Who should get it done?
The treatment is ideal for individuals looking for gradual but noticeable improvement in skin texture, tone and colour with minimal downtime. The results give you a fresher and healthier appearance.
It can be used on all skin types and colours. It helps eliminating skin wrinkles, rejuvenating the skin, improves the appearance in those with acne scarring, and hastens the healing process after a facial peel. It also appeals to patients who are looking for a natural approach to volumise the face.
Common areas where it is used include sun-damaged and prematurely aged skin on cheeks and mid-face, jaw line, sagging skin on the neck, back of the hands and décolletage.
For best results, up to three treatments, 4-8 weeks apart, with top ups at around 12 months are recommended. Improvement in the skin texture is noticeable within the first month while full collagen regeneration takes 3 months. The improvements continue over the next 12 months, as new collagen production continues to improve the overall appearance of the dermis. The effects last for a variable period ranging from 18 months to 2 years.
Are there any side-effects of vampire facelift?
Because this filler is made from the patient’s own blood, there is no risk for rejection, infection, or an allergic reaction. The skin might appear slightly sunburnt for up to 48 hours with little or no associated discomfort. Mild swelling which may last for 3-7 days, redness, or bruising fade within 1-3 days are uncommon. Applying cold compresses and elevating your head can minimise any swelling and bruising. Patients can expect to see better results as they receive more treatments.
After the treatment, it is important to keep the skin thoroughly hydrated and to apply a 30 SPF (or greater) sunscreen multiple times a day.
How much does the vampire facelift cost?
It is priced between 45 to 60 thousand rupees, for three sessions. PRP therapy can be combined with laser treatments, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, fillers and botulinum toxin to best target a patient’s unique issues and thus achieve the final goal of younger-looking skin.