Do you remember the bloody selfie that Kim Kardashian posted in the midst of a “unique” skin care treatment called the “Vampire Facial”? It looked a bit spooky, right? Recently Kim revisited memories from the day of her Vampire Facial, talking about how she’d probably not try it again despite praise for the treatment from her sisters and other people closest to her. We asked Dr. Satchi, Director of Candlewood Aesthetics Med Spa and Wellness Center and renowned OB/GYN, to talk to us more about what happened to Kim and why skipping one simple step in this highly regarded procedure is giving it an unwarranted reputation.
First, can you fill me in on what the “Vampire Treatment” is all about?
Kim Kardashian had a treatment called “microneedling” which involves perforating the skin with microscopic holes. This procedure sends a trigger to the body to heal itself by turbocharging collagen and elastin production. The “Vampire Treatment” adds an extra step by applying platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from the patient’s own blood. PRP contains an increased concentration of growth factors which greatly reduces fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, sagging skin and stretch marks. It also regenerates hair growth.
What happened with Kim’s treatment?
A standard part of any microneedling procedure includes numbing the target area with a topical cream. Because Kim was pregnant at the time of her treatment, she decided not to use the numbing cream, which is why she experienced pain.
Is this a painful procedure?
We’ve done dozens of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments with microneedling and have never had a patient complain of pain. A very important part of the treatment is numbing the area, just like you would do with any minimally invasive procedure where the skin is penetrated.
What should someone expect during a PRP or microneedling treatment?
We begin by cleansing the skin, followed by the application of a lidocaine-based numbing cream. This cream is applied to the targeted area and left on for 30 minutes, at which point we test an area to ensure the patient is comfortable and feels nothing. A microneedling treatment such as the one Kim received involves using a small pen with tiny needles that are used to create microscopic holes in the skin, so it’s very important to ensure the patient’s skin is numb before proceeding with the treatment.
Is it safe for pregnant women?
These treatments have not been clinically tested on pregnant women, so we would respectfully decline to do the treatment until the pregnancy was over. As an OB/GYN, I make it a priority to ensure that my patient’s health and safety come first. Our clients always fill out a medical questionnaire prior to their first consultation so we are aware of their history and personal circumstances. Patients who use Accutane, have open wounds, cuts or abrasions, have had radiation within the last year, are breast feeding, or have any history of keloid or hypertrophic scars or poor wound healing would also not be candidates for this treatment.
Would you ever do a procedure such as the Vampire Facial without using numbing cream?
Absolutely not. Treatments such as the Vampire Facial that utilize microneedling are very effective and provide amazing results to the face and body, but they need to be done with the correct operating procedures in place. Patients who have these treatments done correctly will feel no pain, and it is important to make sure that if you are considering a microneedling or PRP treatment, you do your research and get the procedure done by a trained and certified professional.
How can I find out more about the PRP Treatment?
Here is how it works. Microneedling sends a trigger to the body to begin healing itself by producing more collagen and elastin, which we lose as we age. In addition to kickstarting elastin and collagen production, a Vampire Treatment will also include the application of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) which is taken from the patient’s own blood and centrifuged to create a clear gel that’s applied to the skin during the microneedling treatment. PRP contains an increased concentration of growth factors that speed up the healing process of the body, which is why it’s such a popular treatment for people who are suffering from injuries. Utilizing PRP topically has shown amazing results, especially for acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, stretch marks, and hair loss. You can find out more about PRP Treatment and what to expect right here.