Trending Skincare: The Vampire Facial
In the spirit of Halloween, here is an update on a very popular and effective skincare treatment sometimes known as "The Vampire Facial."
What is a Vampire Facial?
A Vampire Facial refers to a microneedling facial procedure where microneedling is used to resurface the face with a blood product, Platelet Rich Plasma, used as the interface. Microneedling generally results in pinpoint bleeding of the face known as petechial bleeding. This stops almost instantly and is easily wiped off. The other blood component is the PRP which is derived by centrifuging the patient's own blood using a specialized filter. These two blood related factors give the procedure its Halloween friendly name: The Vampire Facial.
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a resurfacing procedure where tiny needlines are used to puncture the skin using a mechanical pen shaped device. The microneeding pen oscillates rapidly and the depth of penetration can be programmed from 0.5mm to 2.5mm.
As skin ages, collagen becomes less organized and breaks down. Youthful structural proteins such as elastin also break down causing the skin to become thin, wrinkled, and loose. Microneedling causes a well controlled "injury" to the skin and in the process of healing after the treatment the skin regains new collagen, elastin, and thickness. In essence, old skin is replaced by newer regenerated skin through a process called collagen remodeling.
If microneedling is the mechanism whereby collagen remodeling occurs, then PRP is the fertilizer or growth factor which stimulates new collagen to form.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
PRP is derived from your blood and contains platelets which are the cells first recruited to heal an injury. PRP is essentially a purified blood product collected from a simple blood draw in the office. Blood is drawn into a special collecting tube with a patented filter to separate the blood from PRP. Using a centrifuge, the blood is spun for 10 minutes to separate the blood from the PRP. The result is a relatively clear solution that can be injected for rejuvenation or used as an interface for microneedling.
The PRP is used with the microneedling treatment which drives the PRP deep into the skin. After the treatment is finished, PRP is then rubbed into the skin and allowed to dry creating a "mask" which is worn for 8 hours after the procedure.
Caring for Your Skin After the Vampire Facial?
Once your treatment is complete you'll have some redness and inflammation for one to three day depending on your skin type and how aggressive your treatment was. Included in your treatment is an amazing skin care product which dramatically reduces the healing time and improves the result. Alastin is a new skin care line based around TriHex technology. Alastin Skin Nectar is applied to the skin several times each day until all redness is resolved at which time you can resume your pre-treatment skin care.