The so-called Vampire Facelift has been in the news recently, and this article explains more about what this approach is, and the benefits it provides.

Platelet enriched fat combined with synthetic dermal fillers for tissue loss replacement is an approach gaining in popularity amongst cosmetic doctors, and the Vampire Facelift is just one of a number of procedures based on these techniques.

Platelets are blood cells rich in biologically active Growth Factors (GF) that stimulate and control cell growth, division, and repair.  The best known are Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF) and Transforming Growth Factor (TGF). The former acts as a signalling mediator for chemotaxis – purposeful migration of cells specialising in repair to the site of an injury. TGF stimulates synthesis of inter-cellular matrix proteins, which provide a support scaffolding for cells. Other GFs produced by platelets include Basic Fibroblast GF, Insulin-Like GF, Platelet derived Epidermal GF, and Vascular Endothelial GF. All of these are involved in promoting tissue repair and growth by controlling cell proliferation.

The innovation of these procedures is that the platelets used are obtained from the patient’s own blood. The needed cells are extracted from other blood factors by centrifuging.  The platelet end-product is a solid, which is cut into small pieces and mixed with a patient’s own fat or, alternatively, with a synthetic dermal filler. The mixture can then be injected into various parts of the body.  Thanks to GFs, when the mixture is injected into the face it triggers a natural healing process that thickens the skin, provides more volume, smooths skin surface wrinkles and folds, and can diminish acne scarring.