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Fangs for the Vampire Facial (PRP Therapy)

19 May 2020 by Omniya Clinic

It has the fantastic sounding name: The PRP Vampire Facial, and for the last few years it’s been all the rage. Contrary to what many Gothic lovers may think, Dracula doesn’t get a look in; aesthetic practitioners are all over this one.

Why has the media named the procedure in some sort of parallel with Bram Stoker’s most famous character? Well, because it involves injecting the client’s blood (in the form of concentrated plasma) into the face. Yes, it may sound a little ghoulish but it’s really not. The official name for the injected treatment is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, and can be also linked with Stem Cell Therapy. And it’s big news.

PRP Vampire Facial and the Celebrity Following

Those in the public eye who have already experienced – and love it - include the Kardashians (of course!), Towie actress Ferne McCann and Israeli model Bar Rafaeli. And it’s not just restricted to the female race; apparently Rupert Everett is also a fan.

But is PRP Therapy really worth all the hype? Well there is only one way to really find out, of course. And that’s for yours truly to have some of her own blood injected into her face.

So, in the name of science and vanity (PRP improves the complexion and, essentially, reduces wrinkles by plumping out the face in a similar vein – but different manner - to collagen injections) off I trotted to Omiya Clinic in London’s South Kensington.

PRP Vampire Facial vs Skin Peels

I’ve been touting this old face around for 38 years now so there’s no doubt it could do with a bit of rejuvenation. I just wasn’t so sure about the procedure. Won’t a skin mask or peel have a similar effect, I tried to convince myself? I mean, it wouldn’t involve the injection thing…Well, the answer to that is, apparently they serve different purposes, maintenance and depths.

That’s because PRP is more than skin-deep (quite literally). These subcutaneous injections restore volume and collagen to the face to stimulate renewal and cellular growth. A grainy skin mask, done at home, would simply give my face a bit of a scrub and clear away the dead skins. That isn’t a bad thing in itself, of course, but that isn't as effective as the PRP Vampire Facial, the practitioner carrying out the treatment, Nurse Nicola, assured me.

And anyway, the injections are more like small pin pricks and, if I was that bothered about it, I could have a local anaesthetic to numb not just the pain, but pretty much everything in that area. Or, I could take pain killers. What I’ve heard from others who have also undergone the PRP facial treatment is that the micro-needling and skin massage option seems to hurt less. But then we all have different pain thresholds.

So, what else could I expect from my PRP Vampire Facial treatment? Well, according to the research I could also look forward to an improvement in skin laxity (ie skin tightening) and getting rid of any crepey skin. By crepey skin I’m assuming it’s that loosening of skin older women get between their breasts and neck. I hadn’t reached that point yet but, never say never to PRP there in a couple of decades. Meanwhile other benefits of the treatment extend to tightening enlarged pores and even stimulating hair growth.

But why is PRP so popular?

Why the treatment is so innovative and popular is because it involves injecting the body with its own plasma – of which the body has an endless supply. Once blood has been taken it is put into a centrifuge to extract the plasma (which contains the platelets and growth factors). The concentrated plasma is then injected back into the face numerous times. The injections cause ‘injuries’ to the face, prompting the body to send blood instantly to the spot to ‘fix’ the trauma. The injected blood is also up to 10 times stronger than ‘normal’ blood, meaning rejuvenation of the skin is far quicker than it would be with ‘normal’ blood.

And, better still, because the blood is the client’s own, their body will be used to it. As a result, there shouldn’t be any issues with unexplained rejection of the injected blood ie the client won’t be allergic to their own blood.

The ‘actual’ treatment

So, after finally plucking up enough courage, already booked an appointment and not wanting to let anyone down, I did turn up at the clinic on the right day and at the right time for the procedure. I met with Nurse Nicola again, who couldn’t have been sweeter and more reassuring.

Being me, I opted for an anaesthetic. Why make life deliberately hard for yourself? Then it was a case of lying down and preparing to be pricked. She chatted with me throughout, which took my mind of things a bit. She also told me prior to any action what she was about to do and why. Also, how it would probably make me feel. First up was taking blood – which she did from my arm. This was then put into a centrifuge so that the blood can be separated into platelet rich plasma and red blood cells.

Around 30 minutes later the pricking was done and sure, I could tell I’d had a procedure, but my face wasn’t pulsingly sore. The nurse then covered my face with a sheet mask (there were holes for my eyes, nose and mouth) and told me to lie back and relax for a bit. Then it was time to leave…

And the results…

For the first few days after my PRP Therapy my skin was a little more pinkish than usual. But it wasn’t really noticeable – only to paranoid me. But I wasn’t allowed to wear tinted moisturiser or anything to cover it up. In fact, I was told I couldn’t wear any make up at all initially.

But those were minor upsets compared to how great I felt – and my skin looked – afterwards. Those fine lines around my mouth area practically vanished. My skin looked plumper and, best of all, it glowed. And I felt as if I had someone else’s face (someone who looked after their skin, not my haphazard beauty routine) for up to three months afterwards. Then, according to my nurse, I’d start noticing the dullness creeping in again. And she was right. It probably won’t surprise you to know I’m booked in again – in a couple of months’ time. Well, who wants to walk around with dull skin...

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