'Bloody popular': The rise of 'vampire facials' in Pakistan

A woman receives skin rejuvenation treatment at a clinic in Greece on Dec 12, 2017. (REUTERS/File)
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Updated 08 August 2020

'Bloody popular': The rise of 'vampire facials' in Pakistan

  • Platelet-Rich Plasma or PRP therapy is used to refresh skin, address health issues, and deal with receding hairlines
  • Specialists in Pakistan say they are now performing hundreds of PRP procedures annually 

ISLAMABAD: A fast growing cosmetic trend used to address aging and hair fall in Pakistan is one that puts a special ingredient to work: your own blood!
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, popularly known as a “vampire facial,” takes tiny particles of protoplasm from an individual’s bloodstream, turns them into concentrated injectable form, and uses them to treat a range of issues, such as aging skin, hair fall and joint pain. The procedure can also be used for sexual rejuvenation. 
The method became popular in recent years after people, particularly celebrities in the West, started sharing photos of “vampire facials” on social media that showed their faces covered with spots of their own blood.
Now, Pakistani practitioners of the treatment say it is becoming “rapidly popularly” in the country to address symptoms of aging like fine lines and dullness.
“PRP has become quite popular in Pakistan in the last five to six years, and we perform 20 to 30 treatments a month,” said Dr. Mazhar Hussain, who owns and operates My Hair Clinic in Islamabad since 2004. The clinic also has branches in Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom.
“They are relatively fast procedures as well,” he said. “They do not take hours and there is hardly any downtime, if done correctly and in keeping with international standards. They do not force you to be out of your social circle for an extended period. Some people may prefer to stay off the grid for a day or two, but even that is not required in most cases.”
Explaining the procedure, Dr. Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur told Arab News: “It’s a concentration of one type of cell, known as platelets, which circulate through blood and are critical for its clotting.”
The sample is then put into a centrifuge where it is separated into parts and made ready for use, said the doctor who operates a popular clinic in Lahore.
“The liquid plasma portion of blood contains many factors that are essential for cell recruitment, multiplication, and specialization that are required for healing purposes,” Taimur said. “We call them cell growth factors.”

 

 

The procedure is “short and seamless,” said Maryam Mahmood, editor of Pakistani lifestyle magazine Weekend.
“I was able to meet people the same day since nothing was truly visible,” said the journalist, who has used the treatment herself. “Unless you have incredibly sensitive skin or a very fair complexion, you don’t see any trace of the treatment when you go out.” 
Mahmood was recommended the procedure by a dermatologist as she tried to address skin concerns like pigmentation and scarring. 
“I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely life changing, though it’s a nice thing that should be done once in a while,” she said. “You can feel that your skin is more radiant, glowy, bouncy and even.” 
Mehrbano Raja, who works in the development sector in Lahore, has used PRP as a treatment for hair loss. 
“The doctor sort of sweet-talked me into it,” she said over the phone. “But the result? Well, it was so excellent that I kept going back.” 
Raja saw results the very next day, saying there was a “drastic and undeniable” reduction in hair fall.


WHO lauds Pakistani frontline workers as 'real heroes' in polio fight

Updated 24 October 2020

WHO lauds Pakistani frontline workers as 'real heroes' in polio fight

  • 270,000 frontline workers participated in the nationwide anti-polio vaccination campaign last month
  • Pakistan and Afghanistan remain the only countries where polio can be found, after Africa was declared polio-free in late August

ISLAMABAD: The World Health Organization (WHO) marked World Polio Day on Saturday by recognizing the hard work of thousands of Pakistani polio workers, as a nationwide immunization drive resumed after a months-long coronavirus hiatus.
According to Pakistan Polio Eradication Program data, 270,000 frontline workers participated in the door-to-door vaccination campaign last month after the government suspended nationwide polio efforts between April and July to focus on COVID-19 response.
"They are our real heroes in this effort, and with the provided support, they have made us proud by vaccinating millions of children during each campaign," WHO Pakistan representative Dr. Palitha Mahipala said, as quoted by local media.
He added that the WHO and its government and non-government partners are "working hard to ensure that Pakistan can be the next country on the journey to a polio-free world."
Polio is a highly infectious disease, which mainly affects children under the age of five and can cause paralysis or death. While there is no cure for polio, vaccination is the most effective means of protection against it.
The next polio eradication campaign will be starting on Monday, in 128 districts of the country, aiming to give polio drops to 31 million children.
Pakistan and Afghanistan remain the only countries where polio can be found, after Africa was declared polio-free in late August. Pakistan has registered 79 polio cases since the start of the year.