Can 'vampire facelift' give you eternal youth?
Reality show star Kim Kardashian got a "vampire facelift" on a recent episode of her Kourtney And Kim Take Miami programme. Anna Friel is another of the many celebrities who swear by the vampire facelift. And, oh my, who can deny, she is one beautiful woman whose youthful face belies her years. A free vampire facelift voucher was also gifted to all Oscar attendees in their goody bags this year. The term vampire facelift is hot in Hollywood at the moment. What is the hype about it and do we have it here in Thailand?
What is a vampire facelift?
The source of the moniker vampire facelift is probably because this non-surgical procedure involves extracting the patient's own blood to achieve skin rejuvenation and renewal. What happens is, the vampire professional puts the extracted blood into a machine which spins it around at high speed for six minutes until the red and white blood cells have separated. This process produces plasma rich platelets (PRP), or very small cells, which stimulate the growth of more cells.
The next process is to synergistically combine hyaluronic acid fillers (HA) with the platelet-rich plasma. This combination is then injected into the area to be treated. PRP, drawn from the patient's own blood, contains growth factors, and when concentrated, stimulate the skin's collagen, revitalising its texture, laxity, volume and tone. The HA filler is a smooth gel that softens and minimises wrinkles.
Which areas can benefit from it?
A vampire lift can be used to treat almost any area of the body including face, neck, chest and hands. Most patients need one treatment to achieve optimal wrinkle-smoothing and improved skin volume. It is particularly effective for concerns such as facial creases, wrinkles, sun damage lines, acne scars and other superficial scars.
Since each person's needs are unique when it comes to signs of ageing, a customised treatment plan can also be done to meet any cosmetic goals. For example, if the concern is wrinkles, one vampire facelift can smooth away those wrinkles and the results can last for up to a year.
Patients will see optimum results a few weeks after the procedure, as the collagen takes some time to grow and generate more and more healthy cells underneath the skin.
What to expect pre- and post-treatment?
It all starts with the doctor examining the skin to determine if the vampire facelift is necessary. If it's appropriate, there may be some medications and supplements that need to be avoided prior to the treatment in order to reduce bruising or bleeding. The process takes approximately 90 minutes.
Following the treatment, patients may experience temporary redness, discomfort, swelling, bruising and lumps in the injected areas. These will last for a few hours to a couple of days depending on the skin. During the recovery period, the patient is recommended to avoid sun exposure, exercise and alcohol.
Is it safe?
Safety is one of the major highlights for this treatment. The vampire facelift involves injections to the desired areas using the patient's own serum, so there is a very little chance of allergy or side effects. The treatment also requires almost negligible healing time. In most cases, a patient will only see redness and maybe slight bruises for a couple of days at the most.
This is the newest technology which has arrived in Thailand only very recently.
The cost for the entire procedure is approximately 20,000-50,000 baht depending on the severity of the person's problems.
Dr Nantapat is an American Board-certified dermatologist and laser surgeon.