The Benefits & Concerns of Vampire Facials – Microneedling With PRP
A vampire facial, also called microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP), is a cosmetic treatment that has recently received a lot of hype and exploded in popularity. You’ve likely heard about it and may wonder… what exactly is it? And more importantly– does it work? Will it take years off the appearance of my facial skin? And is it safe?
Vampire Facials are used to do the following:
- Improve skin tone
- Reduce fine lines & wrinkles
- Enhance and plump sagging skin
- Reduce acne scars
- Decrease signs of aging
So, what’s all the buzz about? If you’ve wondered if a vampire facial or microneedling with PRP suits you, this is what you need to know.
What Should I Expect When Getting a Vampire Facial?
A vampire facial combines two treatments– PRP and microneedling. We’ll start by talking about PRP first.
Platelet-rich plasma or PRP treatment has been used by orthopedic physicians¹ to speed up recovery after an injury or surgery to a joint. It has also been used to treat hair loss, and dermatologists are starting to explore if PRP can lead to improvements in skin health. Platelets and plasma are a part of your blood. Platelets are the catalyst behind blood clotting but also contain growth factors and proteins that help your body heal from injury. Plasma also contains beneficial nutrients and proteins. PRP is thought to work by delivering a concentrated amount of platelets, protein, and growth factors to a part of your body.
Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure used by dermatologists to stimulate collagen production. Collagen is a protein needed for healthy skin and connective tissue. With microneedling² a dermatologist uses tiny needles to puncture your skin. Your skin then responds by producing collagen to heal the small holes, improving the appearance and health of the skin.
Microneedling With PRP
When you go to a dermatologist for a vampire facial³, here’s what to expect:
- A small amount of blood will be drawn from your arm – typically 2-4 tablespoons.
- Next, your blood is placed into a centrifuge – which quickly spins and separates your platelets from the remainder of your blood.
- Your dermatologist then injects the highly concentrated platelets into the skin on your face and scalp. This is done using a syringe with a small needle or a microneedling device.
- The whole process typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
There is little to no downtime after receiving a vampire facial. Some patients experience minor discomfort, redness, and swelling – similar to a mild sunburn. This is entirely normal and typically resolves within a few days. Most people see improvements in the texture and appearance of their skin in the following weeks to months.
Vampire Facial Benefits
With vampire facials becoming more and more popular, the benefits seen and reported by patients are:
- Reduction of wrinkles & fine lines
- Improved skin tone
- Youthful and plump-looking skin
- Decrease in skin sag
- Reduction of acne scars
- Improved self-esteem
Vampire facials have little downtime, and the procedure itself is quick. Aside from mild discomfort, redness, and swelling, you will quickly return to normal activities and life after this minimally invasive cosmetic procedure.
Vampire Facial Concerns
Understandably, one of the main concerns with vampire facials is – Whether are they safe.³ In short, the answer is yes – if your treatment is done by a dermatologist with knowledge and experience performing the procedure and at a facility with safe blood-handling practices.
If the blood drawn from you is not kept sterile, you risk developing an infection once injected back into you. It is of the utmost importance that your own blood is used when injected back into your skin. If someone else’s blood is inadvertently given back to you, you can develop an infection or have a reaction and become sick.
Few short or long-term studies have been done on PRP and microneedling with PRP. While the procedure appears safe – some dermatologists still have a few unanswered questions:
- Do vampire facials have long-term side effects? So far, we don’t know of many
- How many vampire facials are recommended for the best results?
- How often can you receive a vampire facial?
- What is the optimal amount of PRP to inject?
Vampire facials are considered a cosmetic treatment and are not covered by insurance. Payment will have to be made out of pocket.
Vampire Facial Results- The Bottom Line
Now, let’s talk about vampire facial results. Many people are thrilled with the results of their vampire facials, which have created considerable interest and huge demand for this procedure. However, not everyone sees the results they were hoping for. There are many possible reasons for this – including differences in expectations, technique, and the fact that PRP is being used for a wide range of skin conditions – from people wanting generally healthier-appearing skin to looking for improvements in acne scars, wrinkles, and fine lines.
As with every dermatologic procedure – results depend on the skill and expertise4 of the person performing your vampire facial. Board-certified dermatologists have the most knowledge, experience, and training when performing cosmetic skin procedures. Dermatologists’ offices are medical facilities with high safety standards and strict blood-handling protocols.
When you see a dermatologist for a cosmetic treatment, you see a professional healthcare provider concerned with your health and safety, not only your physical appearance. A dermatologist here at North Atlanta Dermatology can help you decide if a vampire facial, or any other cosmetic treatment, will be the best option to help you achieve your skin goals – and answer any further questions you may have.
- www.orthoinfo.org. (n.d.). Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) – OrthoInfo – AAOS. [online] Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/platelet-rich-plasma-prp/.
- www.aad.org. (n.d.). Microneedling can fade scars, uneven skin tone, and more. [online] Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/scars-stretch-marks/microneedling-fade-scars.
- www.aad.org. (n.d.). Is platelet-rich plasma the secret to younger-looking skin? [online] Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/younger-looking/platelet-rich-plasma-secret-to-younger-skin.
- www.aad.org. (n.d.). Who should provide your cosmetic treatment? [online] Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/safety/who-should-provide.