Last Sunday on Kourtney & Kim Take Miami, viewers got a pretty gruesome sight: Kim Kardashian with her face covered in blood! But rather than being the scene of a gory accident, this was just Kim submitting herself to one of the latest “facial rejuvenation” trends: a Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) facial, which has been nicknamed a “vampire facial.”
Well, we are more than a little curious about this macabre procedure. Is it as painful as Kim made it seem? How safe is it? Does it work? We spoke exclusively with facial rejuvenation expert Dr. Mark Malek, who gave us the lowdown.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Could you walk us through the procedure step by step?
Dr. Malek: About two teaspoons of blood is taken from a patient’s arm. It is then spun down in a centrifuge to separate it and produce a fluid that can be injected back into the face. The science behind the procedure is that the stem cells in the blood will stimulate collagen production, revealing plumper, more youthful looking skin.
About how long does it take?
It takes about a half hour to an hour.
Kim seemed to be in a lot of pain when she underwent this procedure. Is it very painful? Does Kim’s reaction line up with the reactions of your patients?
It is definitely painful, but every person deals with pain differently. It feels exactly how it looks — tiny needles are being injected into your face.
Ouch! How soon after the procedure do patients typically see results, and how long do results last?
At first there will be some bruising, but after that the plumping effects will appear rather quickly — usually within in a few days. You will begin to see some slow improvement in the volume and smoothness of your face within the next few weeks. However, this procedure is not FDA approved and there is no evidence supporting that it is effective.
How safe is the procedure? Kim Kardashian wasn’t pregnant at the time that she had the procedure done, but if she were to talk into your office now, at five months pregnant, would you advise her against the procedure, or is it safe enough for expectant mothers?
I usually do not recommend any procedures during pregnancy if there are risks that can be avoided, such as possible infection. Elective procedures such as a “Vampire Facial” I would avoid during pregnancy. No risk is better than low risk.
Do you think the fact that it’s been nicknamed the “vampire facial” helps or harms its popularity?
Perhaps it will help its popularity — it is a fun and catchy nickname which can grab people’s attention and make them curious to find out more.
What else would you like to tell us about the procedure?
It is not FDA approved and there are no studies that prove that this procedure works or has lasting results.