Vampire Facials: Immortal Beauty or Bloody Waste of Time?
As Cosmetic physicians, we often see increased demand for a particular procedure straight after celebrities get them. Their strong social media presence influences the masses and will quite often initiate these “trends”.
But while the exposure is excellent for raising awareness of these procedures, they're not always the best procedure for everyone - We're all unique with unique needs and circumstances.
<< A prime example of this is the “Vampire Facial” which was championed by Kim Kardashian a few years ago. This is still a hot topic and a procedure I’m asked about on a regular basis, so let’s look at this procedure in more detail.
WHAT IS A VAMPIRE FACIAL?
The “Vampire Facial” or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) involves taking of a person’s blood, spinning it to separate and obtain the part of the blood called Platelet Rich Plasma. The PRP is then injected into a targeted area.
SOUNDS FREAKY - WHAT'S IT SUPPOSED TO DO?
Although it’s only recently that PRP has received a lot of media coverage, it has been around for decades and is based on sound scientific theory. Platelets are a part of our blood that are first to arrive at sites of injury and release growth factors which assist in healing. Therefore the theory is that if we can concentrate these little packages of healing goodness and put it into our areas of need, we should be able to stimulate healing and regeneration. In fact PRP has become a popular marketed treatment in the treatment of arthritis, soft tissue injuries, baldness, skin rejuvenation and even sexual dysfunction.
DO VAMPIRE FACIALS WORK?
This is the million dollar question and the short answer is no-one really knows! Certainly there has not been any conclusive studies to prove that it works. Patients certainly leave the procedure looking plumper and more “lifted” but this is only a result of the volume of liquid that has been injected into their face. As this settles down over the next few days, they will return to the way they looked before the procedure. The PRP effect is supposed to take effect over the next few months but there is insufficient evidence from rigorous clinical trials that this will happen.
The reason for this is that these special healing platelet packages actually need an injury and the other associated players in the inflammation process to be activated and simply injecting them therefore may not be sufficient. Then again, even in the soft tissue and joint pain medicine where PRP is most heavily marketed, there is insufficient evidence that it is significantly better than placebo.
SHOULD I TRY A VAMPIRE FACIAL?
At Concept Cosmetic Medicine we do offer PRP for people that are adamant to try it however we wish all our patients to receive the best treatment for their needs and circumstance so PRP is not a treatment we would normally recommend. Chances are, if you come and have a chat with us, we would be able to advise you on a treatment that would better address your concerns for the investment you wish to make to have more confidence in yourself.