Vampire facial: what is it and what are its risks
The vampire facial is a technique that consists of using the patient’s own blood to help regenerate and rejuvenate the skin. Does it work?
This procedure became famous when some celebrities disclosed that they had the habit of doing a vampire face. Consequently, the demand and supply in beauty centers increased.
The vampire facial consists of extracting blood, centrifuging it and re-inoculating the platelet-rich plasma. Although there is also another procedure that is performed with microneedles and that receives the same name.
Below we explain what they consist of, how they are practiced, what their benefits and risks are. Are they effective?
What is the vampire facial and how is it done?
There are two procedures known by the name of vampire face. Although one is more popular than the other, both have in common the fact that the face looks bloody. Hence the title.
In the vampire facial that was popularized some time ago by a celebrity, the procedure involves drawing the patient’s blood and centrifuging it to isolate the platelet-rich plasma.
It is said to be full of thrombocytes and growth factors, so it could help induce cell repair. This fluid then infiltrates the face and the rest of the blood is applied as a mask. It gives the impression that the person is injured.
As for the other procedure, it is practiced with microneedling or microneedles on a roller. The name has been extrapolated to it because bleeding occurs; and although it is light, it is just as scandalous to look at.
In this last, the device’s multiple needles open microchannels. This is intended to penetrate some nutrients (vitamins and antioxidants), as well as medications. The dermis is also said to release growth factors as it tries to repair the damage caused by the needles.
It is appropriate to note that both procedures can be combined. That is, the platelet-rich plasma is inoculated into the microchannels produced by the needles; or it is injected, using the technique known as mesotherapy.
Benefits of the vampire facial
The vampire facial is presented as a procedure that promotes the reactivation of stem cells, which would contribute to the rejuvenation of the skin. In general, the following benefits are attributed to it:
- It would give more light.
- It would attenuate the spots and the scars.
- It could reduce hyperpigmentation.
- It would stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.
- It would reduce wrinkles and expression lines.
Risks and side effects
Both the name of the treatment, and even what the person looks like while undergoing it, can be unsettling. Nevertheless, ensures that the chances of allergic reactions and side effects are relatively low with the vampire facial, because it works with the patient’s own blood plasma.
On the other hand, since it is a somewhat invasive approach, some reactions may occur. One of them is pain due to microneedling. Although a topical anesthetic is used to minimize it and make it bearable.
In addition, other side effects that may appear are bruising, redness, scars, granulomas, wounds that are slow to heal, as well as reactions to the substances that are introduced. When performed under strict aseptic conditions, by certified health professionals, Chances of skin infections are reduced.
Another potential danger is the spread of diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis B or C, which are transmitted through contact with the blood of an infected person. Therefore, sterile microneedles must be used.
Although this risk may also be present when blood components are separated. In this regard, cases of serious infections due to these treatments have been described.
Lastly, it should be noted that devices exist that can be purchased by people to practice the procedure at home. This is considered a potential hazard, because they would be used without the presence or supervision of a health professional.
Precautions to be taken
Taking all of the above into consideration, there are a few safety measures to consider before getting a vampire facial:
- Practice the procedure in an authorized medical center, in a controlled environment, under strict hygiene measures.
- It is essential that sterile and hypoallergenic equipment is used (titanium, gold or stainless steel needles are recommended).
- It’s necessary that the person undergoes a complete evaluationto know if you are allergic or if there is any pathology that can be activated or aggravated.
Is the vampire facial effective?
Among the studies on the subject, we can mention the one carried out by Vikas et al. In it it is stated that microneedling in combination with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is effective for skin rejuvenation.
For their part, Porwal, Chahar and Singh conducted a clinical study with a control group, in which 55 patients with acne scarring problems participated. The effectiveness of the microneedling (with device dermaroller ®) with intradermal injections of PRP in 3 sessions at monthly intervals.
After treatment, significant improvement was observed on the visual analogue scoring scale and on the dermatological quality of life index. However, there were some side effects.
For their part, some health and aesthetic experts disagree with these statements. In this regard, they warn that the health information disseminated by celebrities has more weight than if it were said by health authorities.
In sum, there are conflicting opinions regarding the procedure. And while this technique is claimed to have many benefits, there is no knowledge of comprehensive reviews of its effectiveness.
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