• Tami Bruskotter

Post #8 Bloody Skincare

Listen to Podcast Episode #4 for the Team's discussion of the Vampire Facial!

The Vampire Facial is back in the news again now that 2 people have recently tested positive for HIV after both receiving this very specific treatment.

What is a Vampire Facial?

It's proper name is the Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Facial. You may have heard of it since Kim Kardashian famously posted a bloody selfie on Instagram after receiving the treatment a few years ago.

There is an official, trademarked technique and group of providers that use very specific equipment, training and products for the PRP Facial. (The spa where the HIV cases originated was not a licensed provider of this technique.) According to the official website, the procedure goes like this:

"First, the physician (1)  isolates growth factors from the patient's blood.  Then (2), the provider uses a micro-needling device to create multiple micro-punctures --both driving the isolated growth factors into the skin & creating stimulus for tightening and rejuvenation of the collagen of the face. Then (3), the provider paints the growth factors onto the micro-punctures so that the growth factors soak into the tissue for further stimulation of tightening and skin rejuvenation."

So, they poke a bunch of holes in your face, then paint your face with the concentrated good-stuff in your blood.

The plasma is supposed to be rich in growth factors that boost collagen and elastin levels in the skin, and once the healing process over the skin has a more youthful appearance. It can also be used to treat sun damage, hair loss, acne scars, and can be paired with fractional laser treatments.

The procedure was initially used to speed up the healing process of sports injuries and has been used in surgeries since 1987 to help with cell regeneration. In fact, plasma-based therapies and procedures are being used and tested in a variety of medical practices.

As a beauty treatment, there are countless testimonials of of very happy clients, but does the science back it up? The AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS has reviewed the various, though limited, studies that have been conducted so far and say "the results look promising" but are ultimately inconclusive. Lawrence M. Koplin, M.D., F.A.C.S., debunks most of the PRP Facial claims: platelets don't necessarily provide a rejuvenating aspect to the skin, the resulting "new skin glow" has more to do with the micro-needling and consistent follow-up treatments than the application of blood to the skin, and that just because blood is natural and specifically from your own body doesn't mean complication-free healing. And he said this years before the HIV incidents!

Is it that hard to get our skin back into collagen producing mode? I'm too much of a chicken to take a chance on this one...I'll keep my blood in its original casing, thanks!

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