Vampire Treatment. The latest in Cosmetic Madness?
Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Bar Refaeli are hooked! Vampire treatment is the latest trend in cosmetic surgery, much to the disgust of some (you’ll understand when you see Kardashian’s bloody Instagram photo!). Although vampire facelifts have been around for a few years, it recently became possible to also lift and plump your breasts by having your own blood injected back into your skin. Yes, you read that right. Vampire lifts, or the platelet-rich fibrin matrix (PRFM) method, can rejuvenate your skin by using your own blood to smooth wrinkles and brighten your complexion.
But what does the procedure entail exactly and is it risky? Let us guide you through everything you need to know about the eerie little sister to Botox.
When undergoing the vampire treatment, blood is drawn from the patient’s arm and spun in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets. These platelets will later be injected back into the patient’s skin. They thereby activate multipotent stem cells that are already present in the skin, which will grow new tissue including collagen, fatty tissue and blood vessels. As a result, your skin will look smoother and obtain a healthy, rosy glow. Usually, the vampire treatment also uses a hyaluronic acid (HA) filler such as Juvéderm to reshape the skin and increase the effects of the blood injections.
The procedure usually doesn’t take longer than 30 to 45 minutes and the recommended dosage is three sessions with four weeks apart. To maintain the results, it’s advised to come back once a year to get new injections. Although some people see improvements to their skin straightaway, the effects take about three weeks to fully become visible.
Is it a new phenomenon?
Dr Charles Runels invented and trademarked the Vampire Facelift in 2010, after which its popularity surged. The basic PRP treatment, however, has been used for several decades to help the healing of wounds and burnt skin. It’s especially commonly used to treat athlete injuries.
Runels only recently started experimenting with vampire breast lifts, which aim to reshape and round out your cleavage rather than increasing its size. It’s used to fix saggy boobs, inverted nipples and stretch marks.
Is it worth the money?
Because the procedure makes use of the patient’s own blood, it’s a relatively safe procedure for people who want to rejuvenate their skin. There’s no risk of allergic reaction and because the fillers come from a natural source – your own blood – they can form a great alternative to Botox that is known to paralyse your muscles and can change the shape of your face. It’s also a great option for people who want to smooth their skin, but are a bit wary of having a surgical facelift that removes excess skin. The only side effects you’ll need to take into consideration are mild irritation, swelling, bruising, itching and/or discolouration.
However, do vampire injections really help to boost your complexion on the long term or are the effects just temporary? Some plastic surgeons argue that there’s not enough data to verify that it makes any long-term improvements to the skin. Its temporary effects are only thought to be caused by swelling. And indeed, the injections seem a bit pricey for a treatment of which the effects haven’t been fully proven yet. One procedure costs approximately £600 and a course of 3 treatments runs up to about £1,500 (*prices April 2016). This can get pretty expensive if you want to repeat it multiple times over the course of time.
If you do consider getting the injections, make sure you choose a well-established surgeon to lower the risk of complications. Make an appointment with your GP, who can advise you on any personal health risks, and check whether the surgeon is registered with the General Medical Council or the Nursing and Midwifery Council. In the rare case that a clinical mistake does happen, contact an experienced solicitor who can advise you on making cosmetic surgery claims for compensation.
Have you had any experience with vampire injections or do you want to know more? Let us know in the comments below.