Is Blood the Best Cure for Wrinkles?
It seems the plastic surgery world has Twilight fever just like the rest of us: At a recent meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a new wrinkle filler made from human blood was one of the hottest topics discussed. Immediately nicknamed The Vampire Filler, Selphyl is made from a treatment that takes 20 minutes from start to finish. First, a tablespoon of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm. Then tube of blood is placed in a special centrifuge and spun for six minutes, to extract the platelets. Finally, the platelets are injected into wrinkles in the face. “Immediately upon injection, one sees a glimpse of how it will ultimately look,” before the effect fades, says Joe Gryskiewicz, a Minnesota plastic surgeon who presented the system to his ASPS colleagues. Real results take three weeks—by then growth factors in the platelets have stimulated enough collagen growth for the wrinkle to fill in. The treatment is FDA cleared and ongoing studies in Japan show that results last at least 20 months. However, just because it’s your blood filling your wrinkles doesn’t make it free: Selphyl costs about $900.
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Move over, collagen and hyaluronic acid, there’s a new filler in town. Used by surgeons over the past seven years to speed up soft-tissue healing from sports injuries, Selphyl is now being used cosmetically — to plump cheeks, wrinkles, and even acne scars. In a 20-minute procedure, 9 cubic centimeters of blood (about one vial) is drawn, then centrifuged to collect the fibrin and platelets, which are injected back into the body to stimulate collagen growth. And because this filler is made from your own blood, there’s no risk of an allergic reaction. Full plumping happens in three weeks and lasts for 18 months or more. The procedure is pricey (about $1100), but such long-lasting results make it comparable to other injectables, which require fill-ups every six months or so.
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Its debut FDA approved in 2002; launched in 2009 in the United States; in summer 2010 in Canada. Nicknamed the “vampire-facelift,” Selphyl, a facial injection applied by dermatologists and plastic surgeons, uses your own blood to produce plumping and lightening effects. The blood is collected and placed in a special centrifuge that separates the platelets from blood cells. Rich in human growth factors, the platelets are blended with a fibrin mixtture an injected into wrinkles. Anti-aging results last for up to two years. So far, there are no copycats.