You may have heard about the latest skincare trend, the vampire facial, made famous by reality TV stars. The actual procedure is way less scary than it sounds, and it’s available to more than just celebrities. The vampire facial, also known as microneedling with PRP, is a cosmetic procedure that involves drawing blood from your arm, separating platelets and applying them back onto your face. This procedure has many benefits, including younger looking skin, and is only gaining in popularity.
What is a vampire facial?
A vampire facial is a combination of microneedling and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Microneedling uses short, fine needles to puncture the skin. These needles range in size from .5 to 2.5 millimeters. Rest assured, the needles feel like tiny pinpricks and only go skin-deep. The pricks are used to “injure” the skin, prompting your skin to heal itself by producing elastin and collagen, and allowing the PRP to penetrate deeper.
Once the microneedling is completed, PRP is applied to your skin topically. PRP is a concentrate of platelet-rich plasma protein produced from blood. PRP has a large concentration of growth factors, helping tissue to heal and repair, treating all types of skin issues.
What is the process?
Microneedling with PRP is administered in an office setting. The first step is the initial blood draw, which is relatively painless. Your blood is then placed in a centrifuge to separate the plasma and platelets from the red blood cells.
Before the microneedling portion of the treatment begins, a topical numbing cream is applied to the face to manage any discomfort of the needling.
Once the numbing cream is active and the microneedling has been completed, the PRP is rubbed on the skin. The PRP should remain on the skin for the rest of the day to maximize results. Patients will notice dry, red, sensitive skin, much like a light sunburn for the first few days after treatment.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to the vampire facial, including boosting the turnover of skin cells, improving skin tone and texture. Microneedling with PRP will also reduce fine lines and signs of aging. This treatment can be especially helpful for those who suffered from acne and have visible acne scars or skin damage from prolonged exposure to the sun.
Am I a candidate?
Most everyone is a candidate for microneedling with PRP. This procedure can give a fresher appearance to those with wrinkles and fine lines, high levels of solar damage, or uneven skin tones. You may not be a candidate if you have a history of blood disease, including clotting or bleeding disorders.
The bottom line
The vampire facial is a non-surgical, minimally invasive way to achieve younger, brighter looking skin. Our board-certified staff at Columbia Skin Clinic provides high-quality treatment and care for both cosmetic dermatology and clinical dermatology patients.