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Vampire Facials: Here’s How It Works

Vampire Facials: Here’s How It Works

On September 7, 2018, the VIP Spa in Albuquerque, Arizona, was shut down after a client developed an infection that may have resulted from a procedure performed there. On April 29, 2019, the New Mexico Department of Health released a statement offering free testing for anyone who received injections, including Vampire Facials, at the VIP Spa. Two cases of HIV infection have been identified among VIP Spa clients. “Additional laboratory testing on specimens from the two clients indicates recent infection with the same HIV virus- increasing the likelihood that the two HIV infections may have resulted from a procedure at the VIP spa.

What is a Vampire Facial?

A vampire facial is the process of injecting one’s own platelet-rich blood into one’s own face.

(Platelets are cells in your blood that help stop bleeding by forming a clot. Plasma is the fluid blood cells are suspended in.)

Process:

  • 5 – 15 ml (1-3 teaspoons) of blood is drawn from the arm

  • The vial of blood is placed into a centrifuge, which separates the red blood cells from the Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) by rapidly spinning the vial around in a circle. The PRP is drained off, leaving the remaining cells at the bottom of the vial (above photo)

  • Micro-needling: The client’s skin is cleaned, and a numbing agent is applied. A device is rolled over the skin, creating tiny needle holes (2 mm; 0.08 inches)

  • The skin is coated with the PRP

  • Micro-needling is repeated

  • Remaining RPR is massaged in

Platelet-Rich Plasma

  • Contain growth factors that promote wound healing and tissue repair

  • Has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties

PRP injections are currently being used to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. PRP can also complement hair restoration and cosmetic plastic surgery treatments.

Claims

  • Platelets are activated to release the growth factors, which stimulate multi-potent stem cells that already exist in the skin. “This ‘tricks’ the cells into ‘thinking’ the skin surface is injured (triggering an acceleration of the healing cascade) and the generation of new tissue. The skin responds to this acceleration action by plumping up and thickening, getting to work on those wrinkles, lines or scars.

(Adult stem cells are located, in small quantities, throughout the body and generate specialized cells for the area they are located.)

  • Skin will begin to feel tighter shortly after the session as its texture, color and tone start to adjust. Skin will feel softer too and will progressively improve in the weeks to come.

Risk

When improperly used, some Micro-needling devices can be contaminated with infected blood during the procedure. Non-FDA approved devices and/or improper cleaning can spread infections to others who receive the same treatment with the same device.

  • Hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body at least 7 days and is still be capable of causing infection

  • Hepatitis C virus can remain infectious for up to 6 weeks on surfaces at room temperature

  • HIV can live in a used needle up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors

Resources: Vampire Facial Websites

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