Pop culture icon Kim Kardashian made “vampire facials” famous when she showed the service being done to her face on her family’s reality show. This popular aesthetic treatment, formally known as a “platelet-rich plasma” (PRP) facial, is considered to be a medical treatment since it requires the blood to be drawn from the person who is requesting the service.
Since this treatment has become insanely popular and you will most likely be asked about it in your aesthetic location, this article is dedicated to explaining what PRP is and if it is an effective treatment for facial rejuvenation.
Before we break down the treatment, we need to provide a quick overview of what blood is first. Blood consists primarily of four components including blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. To create the platelet-rich plasma, a sample is drawn from the person receiving the treatment. The blood sample is then spun into a centrifuge to extract the plasma and platelets from the blood sample, which are then combined to create the PRP. Once the PRP is created, the practitioner will inject the PRP into the treatment area either by syringe or through a micro-needling device, where the PRP initiates a natural wound healing response.
In 2018, the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reviewed 16 studies on the use of PRP for facial rejuvenation and found that researchers reported PRP helped rejuvenate aging facial skin by reducing wrinkles and improving volume, texture, and tone. PRP has also shown promising results for hair rejuvenation. For visible results, researchers found that three treatments spaced a few weeks apart are typically required with results lasting roughly eighteen months.
PRP facials are thought to be a fairly safe procedure for most people—except for those who are diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, Hepatitis C, any form of blood cancer, skin cancer, or any type of Cardiovascular disease that requires the individual to take blood thinners.
The biggest risk of the treatment comes from how the blood is handled. The blood sample needs to be kept sterile. Furthermore, if your aesthetic practice takes the blood sample, you should follow all of the same protocols that a blood transfusion facility takes to ensure that your client’s blood goes back into them. If a mistake happens and another person’s blood sample gets injected into the wrong person, it could make that person quite sick.