Vampire Facial a Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment

It sounds like something out of a movie, but it is an aesthetic procedure with multiple applications and excessively beneficial.

Vampire facial is PRP i.e. platelet rich plasma treatment. These are small particles of large cells in the bone marrow that circulates in the blood. They contain excessive amounts of growth, repair and rejuvenating factors. In aesthetic therapies it is mainly used as a superficial treatment called mesotherapy, but there are more applications.

The reason for calling it Vampire, is just because we draw blood from the patient.

Then it is put spinner machine called a centrifuge for specific rotation, temperature and time. There is splitting of the blood into three parts, the top platelet poor area, the middle platelet rich area and at the bottom the whole blood. We use the platelet rich area mostly, and some of the platelet poor area. There is also a procedure called the PRF i.e. platelet rich fibre that is used mainly overseas which also has quite good reviews. We activate the platelets by means of chemicals or via light therapy. The injury we cause to the skin is the best activator as your broken-up collagen causes best activation of your won platelets. We use your stimulated own platelets to cause repair and rejuvenation.

After the Vampire facial your skin will be tougher, softer, smoother and the small wrinkles would have disappeared. I at least like two follow up treatments in the first year and then it can be repeated every two years. Generally, I like to treat the face, hands and neck area. The body rejuvenates and repair itself by improving the collagen as well as the elastin and soft tissue structure of the skin. Some countries the PRP is combined with stem cell therapy. In South-Africa the MSC has not approved the chemicals needed to activate stem cells used in the rooms, but we are able to stimulate them with soundwaves at selective centres. We do manual liposuction under local anaesthetic; the fat also gets centrifuged and then the stem cells are removed from the fat and then activated with sound waves. These stem cells can then also be treated for multiple therapies. This method of harvesting the patients own stem cells were researched and developed by aesthetic doctors.

The Vampire Facial

There are multiple uses for platelet therapy. It is mostly known for it’s first application the Vampire facial, which makes you look bloody afterwards. You combine it with micro needling of the face. This will make the patient look even more red. Some people will confuse micro-needling with the Vampire facial, but Vampire facial relates to blood withdrawn from the patient, and micro-needling many other therapeutics is used to needle it into the face.

I personally prefer that both therapies should be done at the same time to have maximal effect and I prefer to include face, neck and hands as a whole therapy. Therefore, I pull enough blood, even up to 16 tubes depending on what I am going to do.

Sports Injuries

Excluding the facial, we also use it to treat sport injuries, especially joints, tendons and ligaments. This is especially important in professional athletes where the use of cortisone is contra-indicated.  We also use it in different chronic type arthritis to decrease pain and improve repair and conditioning of joints and soft tissue. The vets also use it especially in the treatment of injuries in horses. PRP is also used in hair restoration and rejuvenation especially where there are active follicles that can be stimulated. PRP can also be very important in treating of chronic wounds and certain surgeons will use it directly after surgery for acute wound healing.

Recently we discovered that we can use it in male and female intimate therapies. In men we do a penile shot of PRP where they struggle with erectile dysfunction due to radiation therapy, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. There are also studies showing that there is minimal increase in size and girth. In men the post procedural suction regimen is extremely important as it causes spread of the PRP throughout the penis. It could also be used in Pyronines disease where there is soft tissue shrinkage causes angulation of the penis, a rare soft tissue disease in men that can make penetration problematic.

In women it increases the sensuality, libido, sensitivity and sexuality of genitalia in women. Basically, the female variant of the male injection. It also helps with he is tightening of the vagina and renewal of vaginal, g-spot and clitoral cells.

The Vampire facial is one of the multiple therapies that we can use PRP for and the future holds many advances. The use of the Vampire facial decreases the structure of the skin which in turn decreases the need for other aesthetic procedures like botulinum toxin and dermal fillers.

Written by Dr. Quinten D. Fourie. MBBCh (Wits), PGPN (Boston)

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