A spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico has been shut down after a client contracted HIV following a vampire facial, with other clients being urged to get tested by the New Mexico Department of Health.
Lynn Gallagher, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health, advised that spa clients could be at risk of HIV, Hepatitis B and C, saying ‘it is very important that anyone who received a vampire facial or other injection-related service at the VIP Spa in May or June of 2018 come to the Midtown Public Health Office for free and confidential lab testing and counselling.’
Made popular by Kim Kardashian West, vampire facials involve drawing blood from someones face and then passing it through a centrifuge machine and reinjecting it back into the face using microneedles. The treatment is meant to stimulate collagen production, as the centrifuge machine isolates the plasma in blood, which contains most of the nutrients and growth factors for new skin.
According to dermatologist, Dr Kenneth Mark, when ‘proper protocols are followed and there is no sharing of equipment for patients, then it should not be an issue’. While spa owner Luly Ruiz told KOAT-TV she only uses disposable needles for the vampire facial, some are speculating the equipment was not properly sterilized between uses. ‘I open them in front of my clients every time they come,’ she said.
However, according to dermatologist Dr Doris Day, there are only two likely circumstances under which this could occur. ‘They may have drawn blood from more than one person at the same time and crossed samples — meaning blood products drawn from one person were used on another,’ she told Allure. ‘Another possibility is that the microneedling device was not properly sterilized after use, and the PRP material contaminated the device and was transferred to the next client.’
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While Day states ‘it is a very safe procedure when done properly’, she warns that there are risks of ‘infection, scarring and contamination if the device is not properly sterilized between uses.’ Advising potential clients to visit board-certified dermatologists or plastic surgeons if they want the treatment, after this development we doubt anyone will be eager to have the procedure done.
Earlier this year, Kim Kardashian West actually exposed vampire facials as the beauty treatment she regrets the most. ‘A few years ago, I heard about a “vampire facial,” and I was so intrigued,’ she wrote on her website, ‘before I got the procedure, I just found out that I was pregnant, so I couldn’t use numbing cream or a pain killer and both are suggested… It was really rough and painful for me. It was honestly the most painful thing ever! It's the one treatment that I'll never do again.’