Kim Kardashian’s Vampire Facial

Dear Kim:  When you said, “I love trying anything that makes you look and feel youthful,” did you really mean having your own blood repeatedly injected into your face using an instrument with 9 needles in it???

Apparently the answer was “yes,” as viewers of Sunday night’s Kim and Kourtney Take Miami will attest.

In her quest for eternal youth, the 32-year-old reality show star underwent what is referred to as a “Vampire Facial.”

The procedure was done at the Miami Institute for Age Managment and Intervention, and Kim elected to have it done without local anesthesia. She immediately seemed sorry for that decision as she whined and complained throughout the procedure. Afterwards, she proclaimed:

Oh my God, I will never get a facelift if it feels like that!

The Vampire Facial, sometimes also called the Blood Facial, or PRP facial, is performed as follows:

  1. Microneedle-Dermapen-Beauty-Machine-ZX-11-1-A patient’s blood is drawn from a vein.
  2. The blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate it into its various components.
  3. The platelet-rich portion of the serum (PRP) is collected and applied to the face.
  4. The PRP is injected deeper into the skin using a motorized needle device that creates micro-injuries to the skin called a dermapen.

What is the theory behind the process?

plasmaWhen blood is put in a centrifuge, it is separated into it’s various components: plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are a component of blood which helps in blood clotting.

The portion which contains the platelets also contains several different growth factors. These platelet growth factors have been found to help wound healing in both soft and hard tissues (bone). They also increase new blood vessel production.

As we age, changes in the connective tissue reduce the skin’s strength and elasticity, with the loss of collagen and elastin.

The blood vessels of the dermis become more fragile. This leads to bruising, bleeding under the skin , cherry angiomas, and similar conditions.

Injection of platelet rich plasma growth factors is thought to encourage new collagen and elastin growth and give skin a more youthful appearance.

Although there is some scientific evidence to support this theory, the studies are very few and very small in terms of the number of patients involved. More studies are needed to get a definitive answer.

The “Fine Print”

The biggest risk may be dissatisfaction with the cosmetic results. There is no risk of allergic reaction because the platelet rich plasma is derived from a patient’s own blood. Other injection site risks may include:

  •     Mild irritation
  •     Swelling
  •     Bruising
  •     Itching
  •     Discoloration

These side effects tend to be temporary and are similar to those seen with other soft tissue fillers and injectables.

Reports are mixed about just how effective these injections are, and an individual’s results may depend on the skill of the surgeon performing the procedure.

The  effects of vampire injections may last 15 to 18 months. Some people may see visible improvements immediately, but full results take about three weeks.

The procedure costs between $800 and $1500.

For those needing a “little more” help- The Vampire Facelift!

The Vampire Facelift, is the next step beyond the Vampire Facial. In this case, the platelet mixture is added to a soft tissue filler such as Juvederm (restylane) and injected into hollows in the skin such as deep wrinkles and furrows. The “fine print” is pretty much the same as with the facials or as with other soft tissue fillers such as Restylane or Perlane.

Lastly, the term Vampire Facial, makes no sense.  Don’t vampires rely on other peoples’ blood rather than their own?  The name of this new procedure is just an attention-grabbing marketing ploy.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.


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