Vampire Facelift: Who Can Safely Inject Your Blood?

By: Alyson Boeckh 

In the spirit of Halloween a.k.a Vampire Facelift season, more and more Medspas are picking up on the PRP (platelet-rich plasma) procedure that continues to increase customer curiosity and fascination. It has only been three years since Kim Kardashian shocked America with a gruesome post-Vampire Facelift selfie, raising controversy and intrigue. Despite all the attention this procedure has received, there still isn't a lot of information available about this procedure.   

Here at AmSpa, we love talking in terms of rules and legalities. 

So here are 13 NEED TO KNOWS about the Vampire Facelift...

1. What is it?

This nonsurgical rejuvenation is pretty straightforward: Your own blood, in the form of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), is used to rejuvenate the appearance of facial tissue. To do this, doctors draw a small amount of the patient's blood and place it in a centrifuge to isolate natural growth factors. PRP can spur collagen production and increase blood flow, which results in firmer skin. When injected into specific areas of the face, PRP injections reduce the appearance of wrinkles and result in a vibrant, youthful appearance.

2. Why are platelets so special?

According to Dr. Sejal Shah, they contain a number of growth factors that can stimulate collagen synthesis, skin renewal, cell growth, and tissue regeneration. For the procedure, a small amount of blood is drawn (two to 10 teaspoons, depending on the areas being treated) and spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets and plasma from the other components of the blood. The PRP is then injected into those areas where you want to lift the skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles. This usually requires multiple injections using a small needle. For the needle-wary, this can be a tough sell. 

3. Who can have it?

Any patient who wishes to reduce volume loss, fine lines, and textural changes of the skin is suitable for this procedure. It also appeals to the patient who is looking for a natural approach to volumizing the face and treating or reducing fine lines.

4. Are there any contraindications?

There are very few contraindications to PRP treatment. As the patient’s own blood is used to prepare PRP, the risk of disease transmissions, allergic reactions, toxicity or rejection is avoided. Other contraindications include patients: Taking Warfarin; Who have haemotological disorders or concurrent infections; Who are being treated with Roaccutane; Who have immunosuppression; Undergoing chemotherapy; Suffer from poorly controlled chronic medical conditions; Are pregnant or breast-feeding.

5. Will I cry like Kim Kardashian?
Not likely. Out of a 1-10 pain scale, the procedure is rated a 1

6. How much does it cost?  
According to RealSelf, it costs approximately $1,125.

7. How long does the treatment take?

This treatment is your typical lunch-break facial. It is a quick 20-minute procedure. After 9 cm3 of blood (approximately 1 vial) is drawn from the patient, it is spun down in a centrifuge for 6 minutes at a precalculated speed to retrieve the most viable fibrin and platelets. After centrifugation, the platelet and fibrin component of the blood (the top layer) is extracted and reinjected into the area of concern. 

8. How long do the results last?

The treatment can be repeated, and better results are seen with a total of 2-3 treatments given 3-4 months apart. Patients can expect to see better results as they receive more treatments. With time, the results of PRP get better and better. 

  9. What should I be concerned about?

The biggest risk associated with PRP may be dissatisfaction with the cosmetic results. There is no risk of allergic reaction because PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood. Other injection site risks may include mild irritation, swelling, bruising, itching, and discoloration. These side-effects tend to be temporary and are similar to those seen with other soft tissue fillers and injectables, such as Restylane or Perlane.

10. Can PRP work synergistically with other rejuvenation procedures?  

Yes, this procedure can work well when combined with other skin rejuvenation procedures like Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and microneedling. Some doctors even combine this treatment with laser treatments depending on the patient's needs.  

11. What else do I need to know?

Although there may be some temporary plumping and filling initially, it is categorically not a face lift. It cannot sculpt or lift the lower face, neck and jaw line like a well-performed face/neck lift does.

12. Is the procedure as bloody as Kim Kardashian's looked?

No. Dr Shah and many other doctors want to reassure consumers that the treatment is not particularly bloody (the pictures of Kim K post-procedure were probably dramatized). Yes, there will probably still be some bleeding and pain during the procedure; you are, after all, having a needle injected into your facial tissue. But this procedure is not nearly as painful and gruesome as Kim K made it out to seem. 

13.  Who can safely administer this treatment?


PRP, or the Vampire Face Lift, is a relatively new technology and therefore guidelines are difficult to come by; however, AmSpa believes that most states consider or will consider PRP to be a medical treatment. Because of this, prior to your initial treatment, the medical spa should conduct you an in-person exam by either a doctor, a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant. There are different stages of PRP treatments that require different practitioners – only trained medical professionals can draw blood, inject, and utilize a microneedling device, but basic application (i.e. without needles) of PRP can be done by most medical spa professionals with proper training, education and supervision. Please check with your local medical board, nursing board or health care attorney for more information. 

For more information on this treatment or to view AmSpa's full list of treatments and answers, please visit the Med Spa Treatment directory. 

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