Here’s a little quiz for you:
What’s a vampire facelift?
A. A facelift specially designed for vampires
B. A facelift performed by Dr. Dracula
C. The newest, hottest type of facelift (for humans!)
Of course, the answer is C – though all those centuries of sleeping in a coffin might leave Dracula wanting a little facial pick-me-up, too! But here in the real world, we’re always looking for new and better ways to help our patients keep or recover a more youthful look and the so-called Vampire Facelift is the latest rage.
What is a “Vampire Facelift”?
A Vampire Facelift, which is officially known as Selphyl, is a non-invasive way to freshen your look. It’s actually not a facelift at all because facelifts involve surgery. On the contrary, a vampire facelift is no more invasive than the process of getting a filler like Juvederm or Restalyne.
It’s called “vampire” because we use the patient’s own blood to create the injection. So, yes, before we inject you, we will want to “suck your blood” – with a proper medical instrument, of course!
What are the steps to a Vampire Facelift?
The first step, as it is with all of our procedures, is a consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists. In this consultation, you and your doctor will discuss your concerns and where you would like to see improvement in your appearance. Your doctor will also ask you a number of questions about your general health and medical history. Then, the doctor will present you with options for improving your look and, together, you will make the right choice for you, your body, and your budget. If in the first consultation, you and your decide that you’d like to have a Vampire Facelift, you will be able to schedule your procedure.
The day of your Vampire Facelift, our specially trained medical staff will draw your blood. The blood will then be “cleaned.” The platelets of you blood are separated from the red blood cells and other substances in your blood during this process. We then put your platelet-rich plasma into a syringe with a very small, thin needle at the tip. Once the treatment area is prepared, your doctor will carefully and gently inject the platelet mixture into the identified spots. Once your doctor is finished injecting, you’re done – it’s that easy!
What’s the science behind the Vampire Facelift?
Surgeons of all specialties have been using platelet-rich plasma to aid healing in patients for decades. Platelets promoted blood clotting, which is important after surgery, and they also promote healing in general. In fact, many surgeons will spray platelet-rich plasma over stitches because it will help the wound heal faster and will stop damaged blood vessels from bleeding. Cosmetic surgeons have been using platelet-rich plasma in similar ways for years.
A Vampire Facelift takes this science to the next logical step. If we inject this platelet-rich plasma under the skin, it will do the same thing it always does: it will generate new tissue. As this tissue grows, it will fill out the injection area and, in the process, smooth the skin, just like other fillers do.
Is there a difference between a Vampire Facelift and a Vampire Facial?
If you’ve seen Kim Kardashian’s Twitter post about her Vampire procedure or a clip of her experience on her show, Kourtney and Kim Take Miami, you might be a little nervous to try a Vampire Facelift because it looks pretty gory. However, the way Kim looked during and after her procedure was the results of a Vampire Facial, not a Vampire Facelift. With a Vampire Facelift, there is no more blood on the skin than would normally appear when you get a filler injection with a very small needle. Furthermore, we only use the plasma of your blood and plasma is relatively colorless – not blood red.
These two procedures – Vampire Facelift and Vampire Facial – sound very similar, but there is actually a pretty big difference between the two. The procedures both rely on the healing and growth properties of plasma-rich platelets, but the method of delivery differs.
As explained above, during a Vampire Facelift, the plasma-rich platelets are injected intradermally, which means it is injected into the skin, just below the epidermis, the top layer of skin. However, during a Vampire Facial, the patient’s face is treated with a series of tiny needles, akin to needles used for acupuncture. These needles poke small holes into the skin and then the plasma-rich platelet mixture is spread over the skin. The plasma-rich platelet mixture is then able to seep into the skin.
Another difference between these two procedures is how you look during and after the procedure. With a Vampire Facelift, you might experience slight swelling and redness at the injection sites. With the Vampire Facial, all of the skin treated – usually the patient’s whole face – will look red and scratched for one to three days post-procedure. That being said, the Vampire Facial looks worse than it feels. Most patients to do report pain after the procedure, other than a slight burning. So, it’s clear that Kim Kardashian was receiving a Vampire Facial, not a Vampire Facelift, or perhaps was getting both procedures at once.
How soon will I see the results from a Vampire Facelift?
You will be able to see results immediately with a Vampire Facelift. However, at the outset, the treated areas will be a little swollen. This is mostly because we need to inject more platelet mix than we want to eventually see because a certain portion of every injection will not take. Therefore, your doctor will “over do it” a bit, to make sure you get the end result you want. After a few days, the extra swelling will go down and you will have a brighter, firmer visage.
How long does a Vampire Facelift last?
Just like the results of any facial fillers, the results of a Vampire Facelift will last for different lengths of time for different people. Generally, we see patients for “touch ups” in anywhere from six to twelve months after their initial treatment.
What are the “pros” of a Vampire Facelift?
One of the biggest “pros” about Vampire Facelifts is that, since we are using the patient’s own blood, there is virtually no chance of an allergic reaction like there can be with artificial fillers.
What are the “cons” of a Vampire Facelift?
One of the possible downsides of a Vampire Facelift is that it cannot treat a large area, as we can only draw so much blood from you at a time. So, Vampire Facelifts are best for those who want to see fine lines and localized issues improved.
Despite its name, the Vampire Facelift is not a facelift. It does not restructure the underlying tissues or reposition anything. It cannot shape your lower face, neck, or jawline. While this isn’t really a drawback of the Vampire Facelift, it is a common misconception about the procedure, due to the name.
What are the differences between a Vampire Facelift and other facial refreshment treatments?
Vampire Facelift vs other facial fillers: while most facial fillers use artificial solutions to promote skin regeneration, the Vampire Facelift uses the patient’s own biological material.
Vampire Facelift vs laser treatments: laser treatments destroy skin cells in order to spur healing and the growth of new cells. The Vampire Facelift does not damage any skin tissue.
Vampire Facelift vs standard facelift: Facelifts are generally medical procedures done under anesthesia. As with any procedure done under general anesthesia, there are risks inherent to the process. Furthermore, anytime a surgeon operates, it creates the risk of infection. Since a Vampire Facelift does not even require local anesthetic, let alone general anesthetic, and does not require cutting into the skin, the Vampire Facelift does not come with any of these risks.
Who are the best candidates for a Vampire Facelift?
As with any medical procedure, the best candidates for a Vampire Facelift are generally in good health. Beyond that, a Vampire Facelift is best for patients who want relatively subtle cosmetic fixes made. For instance, a Vampire Facelift is not the best treatment for deep wrinkles and scars. A Vampire Facelift can often successfully treat:
- Lines at the corners of your mouth
- Crow’s feet
- Frown and smile lines
- Light forehead wrinkles
How long does a Vampire Facelift take?
On the day of your procedure, the entire process will take about an hour. This includes the blood draw, the preparation of the plasma, and the injection into the treatment sites.
Does a Vampire Facelift hurt?
If you’ve ever had blood taken before, you know how that feels – a little pinch, but not bad at all. When we inject the platelet-rich plasma into the treatment site, you will likely feel a pinch and a bit of stinging, but this doesn’t last very long. Your face may be a little tender when you get home, but you shouldn’t be in any serious pain. Most of our patients report that the Vampire Facelift procedure is no more painful than getting other facial fillers.
What do studies say about the Vampire Facelift?
The Vampire Facelift procedure is new enough that there have not been any substantial scientific studies on it. That being said, we know it’s safe because we are using the patient’s own blood, not an artificial filler that your body could treat like a foreign object and reject. Furthermore, we have plenty of happy patients who can tell you – the Vampire Facelift is the “real deal”!
How can I learn more about the Vampire Facelift?
If you’d like to learn more about any of our procedures, you can always call us. Our staff is happy to answer many of your questions, and, for more complex discussion, you can schedule a free consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists.
But there’s another way you can learn more about the Vampire Facelift! A number of media outlets have covered the procedure and we are happy to share with you links to these videos and articles:
The Doctors, a popular medical talk show featuring Dr. Travis Stark, did a segment on the Vampire Facelift.
ABC News has a video segment and an article online about the Vampire Facelift.
Although published in 2011, The New York Times has an article on the Vampire Facelift.