The ‘vampire facelift’

Thinking about a facelift but can’t bear the  idea of Botox or plastic surgery? The answer could be coursing through your  veins.

Women are ironing out wrinkles and  rejuvenating their skin with injections of their own blood.

The procedure –  dubbed the ‘vampire  facelift’ – involves taking a blood sample from the patient’s arm and putting it  through a machine which separates out the platelets.

These are tiny fragments of cells which  circulate in the blood and are filled with hormones and proteins.

They are responsible for making the blood  clot when we get a cut or bruise. But also at high concentrations they are  thought to stimulate the skin to repair itself. These platelets are then  injected into the face.

The procedure has had impressive results in  America and is now being offered by clinics in Britain.

Taimur Shoaib, a consultant plastic surgeon  who offers the treatment in three £400 sessions at his clinic La Belle Forme in  Edinburgh, has performed the procedure on several hundred men and women since  launching it earlier this year.

He said: ‘It can rejuvenate and repair skin  that has environmental damage. It’s good for skin that has been damaged by the  sun or smoking and that is dry and damaged and wrinkled. This appeals to people  because it’s a natural product.’

At Bassim Matti’s clinic in Harley Street, 28  patients have had the treatment paying £1,500 for a series of injections  covering the face.

Some 28 patients have paid £1,500 for the treatment on Harley Street in London

Some 28 patients have paid £1,500 for the treatment on  Harley Street in London

Reza Nassab, a registrar in plastic surgery  at the clinic, said after six months 60 per cent of the patients were still very  satisfied with the results.

He said 40 per cent did not see much of an  effect, but staff were hoping to improve the results by changing the  concentration of the platelets.

He said: ‘This treatment is called PRP or  platelet rich plasma, but people call it the Vampire facelift. The platelets  have growth factors within them. When they are injected into the face, the  growth factors are thought to stimulate collagen and other things which help to  rejuvenate and regenerate the skin.’

Platelet transfusions have long been used in  reconstructive surgery, but this is their first use as a cosmetic treatment.

In experiments on rats injected with  platelets, scientists found high concentrations increased the number of collagen  fibres in their skin and improved skin quality.

Mr Nassab, who presented the results at the  British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons scientific meeting in London,  said he believed it worked the same way in humans. He said: ‘It’s using your own  blood, a technique which has been used in medicine for a long time, to give your  skin a boost.’

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