Would You Fill Your Wrinkles With Blood?
Published Feb 16, 2012
Looking for a smooth complexion without any artificial injectables? Good news! The secret to youthful skin is already coursing through your veins. Nicknamed the “Vampire” face lift, Selphyl is a new procedure that harvests platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from your own blood to inject in your face and fill out wrinkles and lines. While this beauty treatment has nothing to do with actual blood-sucking vampire bites, it may give your skin eternal youth. We spoke with Lauren Zeifman, RPA-C and founder of Manhattan-based aesthetic center Park Avenue Solutions, on why her patients love the treatment so much.
First, blood is drawn from any part of your body and placed in a centrifuge for six minutes to separate the nutrient-rich platelets, which are then injected in your skin the same day. "We physically inject the platelets into your skin because they are responsible for cell regeneration," says Lauren. These platelets contain an array of proteins, enzymes, and hormones that stimulate tissue growth. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes total, and patients begin to see results within a few days. Side effects include a couple of hours of mild swelling and bruising at the injection site, and patients can expect results to last approximately three months. But the worst side effect is the dent on your wallet. Prices can range from $1500 to $2000 per treatment.
The treatment is most widely used around the periocular region (the area around the eyes) to fill in hollow under-eyes or to plump crow’s feet. "It's more about the area of concern than the age of a patient. I've treated women of all ages from their twenties on," reveals Lauren.
Initially, patients get two or three treatments in the first year to test the treatment’s compatibility on their skin, then come in for treatments every three months to perpetuate cell regeneration. "Additional treatments can vary depending on your personal results," explains Lauren. "The blood and viability of the platelets affect how dramatic your results will be." Regardless of blood type, results are subtle and natural-looking with PRP—you’ll notice fewer fine lines, and wrinkles will look softer and skin plumper.
Selphyl and Botox are not the same. To smooth out fine lines, Botox stops muscle function when injected, while Selphyl acts more like a filler. Selphyl’s PRP fills up wrinkles like fellow plumpers collagen and hyaluronic acid (the main ingredient in Restalyne and Juvaderm), but they work in opposite ways. The older injectable fillers temporarily plump the skin, while PRP encourages long-term plasma growth on a cellular level, and gives a more natural effect on the surface of the skin. "With PRP, your body absorbs the fluid and keeps regenerating cells," explains Lauren. "That's why patients see better results with each treatment." And since Selphyl also has no allergy risk (which can be a problem with hyaluronic acid and collagen), this "organic" option might be your best bet. If you're curious about the treatment, Lauren suggests visiting Selphyl online to locate a licensed practitioner near you.