Selphyl, the so-called "vampire facelift"—in which a patient's own blood is injected into the face to stimulate collagen growth—is growing in popularity. Selphyl is an injectable filler which uses a person's own blood to plump up skin and reduce wrinkles. Strictly speaking, Selphyl itself isn't a filler at all -- it's the patented system by which platelets and fibrin (blood clotting proteins) are concentrated from a blood sample to make a "platelet-rich fibrin matrix" (PRFM). Platelets, which are an important part of the body's ability to heal, are excellent growth-stimulators, so they increase collagen production below the top layer of the skin, resulting in plumper skin with fewer lines and wrinkles.
What It's Good For
Selphyl is most often used to fill nasolabial folds. It can also treat wrinkles, acne scars, and volume loss under the eyes and in the cheeks.
Who it works for: Gruesome as the procedure (and its nickname) sounds, the fact that Selphyl is composed entirely of the patient's blood means that there are no synthetic or foreign substances being introduced into the body. This reduces the risk of allergic reaction (and also means that no non-human animal-derived compounds or potentially dangerous synthetic chemicals are being used). If you're in good health and don't have any blood-related health problems, then Selphyl may work for you.
Recommended age range: Because Selphyl relies on your own body's ability to produce collagen, patients older than 65 may not see much effect, since the ability to create collagen decreases with age. The effects of Selphyl can be subtle, so the treatment is better for women in their 30s, 40s and 50s without significant sun damage or advanced aging.
When will I see results?: Selphyl helps gradually increase your body's ability to produce collagen, but the changes won't magically take place over night. You may notice subtle results immediately, but it'll take weeks, even months, to see any significant changes in skin quality.
How long it lasts: Results of Selphyl can last 12 to 18 months. The younger you are, the longer the effects of Selphyl injections last.
Key benefits of Selphyl: Allergic reactions to Selphyl are extremely rare.
Licensed uses: Selphyl has been cleared with permission to market by the FDA 510(k) in the United States - though final approval has not yet been granted.