The vampire facial has been all over social media for the past few years, thanks to celebrities like Kim Kardashian.
But it's a lot more than just a trend in skincare that sounds strange. We promise it's not as scary as it sounds from the name alone. The truth about facials is that they can have great results, especially when it comes to anti-aging, and it's all because of a part of your body you probably haven't thought about much.
What does "vampire" mean in the name?
First, let's talk about the name. Does the so-called "vampire" facial involve blood? Yes, but not in the way you might think.
The main part of the vampire's face which is made of blood is true. But instead of putting someone else's blood on your face, you are the secret ingredient in this facial! More specifically, your platelet-rich plasma (PRP), is one of the parts of blood. If you've seen selfies of people "covered in blood," it's probably because some people are sensitive and bleed after treatment. Don't worry if this makes you feel queasy.
How does PRP help the skin?
If that sounds strange, we get it! But using platelet-rich plasma to treat the skin isn't a new idea, and there's a lot of research to back it up. And PRP isn't just used in dermatology; other fields of medicine also use the same part. PRP is also being used to help change lives by cardiologists, orthopedic doctors, and physical therapists, among others.
But what does it really do?
The platelets hold the answer. Most of the time, platelets' main job is to help the blood clot and stop bleeding. With platelet-rich plasma, we're able to use platelets' healing power for the first time. Alpha granules are found in pockets on the inside of each platelet. More than 20 kinds of growth factors come out of these alpha granules.
Each type of growth factor works on a different kind of tissue. When they are sent to those tissues, they help move the cell cycle along, kind of like a guardian angel who helps you feel better. When we use PRP for cosmetic purposes, we try to target the growth factors that make the skin cells that give skin its elasticity, texture, and volume.
We are basically tricking the body into making more collagen and elastin, which are proteins that make the skin look and feel fuller, smoother, and tighter. We call PRP "liquid gold" because it could be like a fountain of youth.
PRP can help with a wide range of skin problems, but it works best on acne scars, stretch marks, fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation (dark spots), long-term sun damage, and other changes that come with getting older. Even hair loss can be helped with PRP!
How do we get rid of the PRP?
Everyone is thinking about how to get the PRP from your blood to your skin. Because plasma, platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells, which are the four main components of blood, are all mixed together in your bloodstream, the process starts when we draw your blood.
If this worries you, you're not the only one. No one likes having their blood drawn, but our providers are trained to make it as quick and painless as possible. We don't need much, so it shouldn't take too long.
After we take a sample of your blood, we put the tube in a device called a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood quickly, which separates the different parts. The plasma is on top, the platelets and white blood cells are in the middle, and the red blood cells are at the bottom. We want the middle layer, which is called "serum," so we pull it out for the next step in your treatment!
What does a vampire facial involve?
At Skin Pharm, we use PRP in two main ways for cosmetic treatments. Let's take a closer look at each one.
ONLY TREATMENT OF PRP
First, we can use PRP on its own to help your skin look better.
We start by putting numbing cream on the skin we're going to work on. This helps to lessen any pain that might happen. Once the numbing cream has had a chance to work, we inject the PRP directly under your skin. Don't worry, we use very small needles. With these injections, the PRP goes directly to the parts of your skin that need a boost of rejuvenation so that it can start "healing" your skin as soon as possible.
MICRONEEDLING WITH PRP
Microneedling is the other way we can get the PRP where it needs to go. If you haven't heard of this game-changing cosmetic treatment yet, it's one of the most complete ones we have.
Microneedling also starts with a number of creams that is put on the skin to make you feel better. Then we put your PRP on, and then we use a special tool to make small, controlled holes. The reason for these holes is twofold: your body sees them as "injuries" and sends more collagen to the area to help it heal, and it also lets us get the PRP deeper into your skin. The whole cosmetic procedure doesn't take too long, and most people only feel minor pain (thanks to the topical numbing agent).
When will a vampire facial show results?
If you're willing to have your blood drawn and then put on your face, you're probably looking for results. So let's talk about it: how long will it be before you start to look different?
The time it takes to see the effects of a vampire facial can vary, but it usually takes about a week. But that's not what's best! As the PRP keeps working under your skin to make more collagen, your results are likely to keep getting better over time. Keep in mind that some skin problems, like melasma or deeper lines and wrinkles, may need more than one PRP treatment before you can see a difference.
Is there anything else?
Because PRP uses a part of your own blood, there aren't many side effects. But because the process uses needles and makes small holes in the skin, some clients get redness, sensitivity, or pain in the areas we're treating. You could also get bruises, bleed, or swell up, especially if your skin is sensitive. Most of these minor side effects go away on their own within a day or two, which is good news.
If you want to plan your PRP treatment around a big event, like a wedding or a birthday party, we suggest giving yourself a few days to recover. So, you won't have to worry about bruises or redness ruining your photo opportunities. Also, we suggest waiting at least 24 hours before putting on makeup after treatment.
How long do you think the effects will last?
Once you see that your skin is getting better, you'll want to keep it that way.
We have good news for you, though. Most of the time, the effects of PRP treatments last as long as you keep taking care of your skin and living a healthy life. But that doesn't mean you can be lazy and stop caring about your new skin. Any cosmetic treatment needs to be followed up with a good skincare routine that helps it work. Find a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen that work for you at the very least. To look as young as possible, it's important to keep your skin's moisture barrier intact and reduce the chance of long-term sun damage.
What does vampire facial aftercare entail?
Even though the vampire facial is a minimally invasive cosmetic treatment, it's still important to follow your provider's advice about how to care for yourself afterward. These suggestions were made to help your skin heal while keeping you safe and minimizing side effects.
The vampire facial is an amazing way to use the power of your own body to help improve your skin. If you've been having problems with getting older or just want to make your skin look younger, PRP is the way to go. PRP can help heal your skin from the inside out, whether you use it on its own or with something like micro needling. We'll be with you every step of the way, so don't be afraid to ask for help.
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