A “vampire facial” may be celebrity-endorsed, but it’s far more than just a beauty fad. The technical term for this procedure is microneedling with PRP (platelet-rich plasma), and is a nonsurgical skin rejuvenation method invented by Charles Runels, M.D. The procedure got its attention-grabbing name from the fact that PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood which is applied directly to the face.
Microneedling with PRP is an innovative and nonsurgical treatment with long-lasting results proven to reduce fine lines, address acne, and improve skin tone. The efficacy of this cutting-edge anti-aging technology is backed by scientific research, and I recommend microneedling with PRP to many of my patients who are looking for a more non-invasive option to rejuvenate their skin.
How Does It Work?
First, a vial of blood is first removed from your body just like any blood draw done at your general doctor’s office. Then, the plasma gets separated from red blood cells and other blood components. This is done by spinning the tube of blood in a machine called a centrifuge, and the result is a fluid containing a high number of platelets or platelet-rich plasma.
Microneedling creates tiny openings in the skin for the plasma to be absorbed. The PRP is then applied to the skin using a droplet technique during the microneedling procedure. Microneedling with PRP works to stimulate your body’s natural collagen production and tissue regeneration, leaving you with a fresher, more youthful appearance.
My patients have seen optimal results from this procedure, both alone and in conjunction with the other treatments and skincare products I offer.
Here’s what you can expect during microneedling with PRP:
- Preparation. Your skin will be thoroughly cleansed, and a numbing cream will be applied approximately 45 minutes prior to the procedure to decrease potential discomfort.
- Blood draw. Only one tube of blood will be removed from your body, which is about the same amount taken during a routine blood test.
- PRP isolation. Your blood is then placed in a centrifuge, where the platelet-rich plasma is separated from other blood components.
- Microneedling. During this step of the process, we use the only FDA cleared medical grade microneedling device called SkinPen. Long gone are the days of unsterile, unproven dermarollers. If someone is attempting to do your microneedling with a dermaroller, I advise you to seek another facility for your own health and safety.
The SkinPen microneedling device creates thousands of tiny pin-hole channels in your skin, and this action alone stimulates your body to heal, which is the how new collagen gets formed. Adding PRP to the treatment and allowing the PRP to infuse into your skin via these tiny channels compounds the rejuvenation process for even greater results.
- Recovery. Some discomfort, minor swelling, and/or bruising is expected after a “vampire facial.” A broad-spectrum sunscreen and sun avoidance are also a must during the recovery process. I recommend you bring a wide brimmed hat, or better yet, an umbrella to use immediately after your procedure to protect you from the sun on your way to your car.
The first 24 hours may feel like a slight sunburn sensation. Recovery may take a few days and your skin may feel tight as it regenerates. I recommend that you use only the delicate cleansers and moisturizers I prescribe during this period. After 24 hours, the down time reduces significantly with each passing 24-hour period. You will be 50% better than the day before resulting in near complete recovery in about four to five days on average.
The Benefits of Microneedling with PRP
Microneedling with PRP can benefit patients with a wide variety of skin issues, including:
- Skin Laxity
- Crow’s feet
- Dark circles
- Uneven skin tone
- Acne scarring
Are “Vampire Facials” Safe?
The risk of complications from microneedling with PRP is extremely low. Because the PRP is extracted from your own blood, allergic reactions are quite rare. To ensure your safety, only a licensed physician or, depending or what state you are receiving your treatment in, a certified physician extender (PA, RN, MA) overseen by a physician should perform the procedure. My office holds only the highest standards of safety, cleanliness, and professionalism to make you feel as comfortable as possible during your consultation and procedure.
When Will You See Results?
For optimal results, I advise patients to undergo three to six treatments over the course of three months, depending on the baseline status of the skin. While most patients begin to see results very quickly, maximum efficacy of microneedling with PRP is achieved over time.
After the initial series of three to six treatments, results typically last between 12 and 18 months. However, since we are constantly aging, the more you continually care for your skin, the longer the results will last. In other words, don’t just do these treatments and then do nothing for the next 12 to 18 months so you go back to baseline. A great treatment to sustain your results is the AquaGold microneedling procedure we offer.
Schedule Your One-on-One Consultation Today
Microneedling with PRP can offer you smoother, tighter skin, reduced wrinkles, and a fresher, younger looking face. During your consultation in the privacy of my office, I will take a complete medical history and evaluate your current goals and skincare needs. I’ll then recommend a customized treatment plan designed to achieve those goals as quickly and non-invasively as possible.
To book your appointment, contact the Elizabeth Roche, M.D. MedSpa today.