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Vampire facial: What is it, Benefits and Safety Measures

Vampire facial has been in news after a report found a link between the beauty treatment and HIV. Let us tell you everything about vampire facial.

Vampire facial, a popular cosmetic procedure, has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons. An April 2024 report linked three HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) cases with vampire facials. This has raised concern among women, who may be intrigued by the non-surgical treatment that celebrities like Kim Kardashian have given a thumbs up to. During the vampire facial, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a substance believed to promote healing when injected, is used for skin rejuvenation. The cosmetic service that uses needles begins with drawing out blood from your body! Read on to know more about the vampire facial.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in the report that three women, who received vampire facial at an unlicensed medical spa in New Mexico, were diagnosed with HIV.

A woman getting a vampire facial
Vampire facial was recently linked with HIV cases. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What is vampire facial?

The vampire facial offers enduring results through the enhancement of skin texture and luminosity, says dermatologist Dr Geetika Srivastava. The procedure involves the extraction of about 10 to 20 ml of blood, followed by centrifugation to isolate platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which serves as the cornerstone of the treatment. Subsequently, the PRP is injected into the subcutaneous and intradermal layers of the skin, accompanied by microneedling to facilitate optimal absorption and collagen induction. It is all about PRP injection and microneedling. PRP harnesses the innate healing properties of blood, fostering skin rejuvenation. Microneedling, on the other hand, induces controlled injury to the skin, triggering collagen and elastin synthesis while facilitating the penetration of PRP into deeper skin layers.

What are the benefits of vampire facial?

Vampire facial may promise multiple benefits, but it is advisable to approach this treatment with caution:

1. May enhance skin texture and pore reduction

Microneedling fosters collagen induction, minimising fine lines, static wrinkles, and open pores, while diminishing the visibility of acne scars. This is possible due to collagen induction that improves the overall texture of the skin.

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2. May add skin glow

The blend of growth factors in PRP imparts a long-lasting glow to the skin. The hydration effect of PRP combined with the growth factors present in it results in a glow that can last up to a month even after a single session, says the expert.

3. May lead to skin tightening

Ideal for people in their mid-30s and early 40s, the treatment stimulates collagen and elastin production, effectively combating sagging skin and promoting firmness. It may reverse signs of ageing like fine lines and static wrinkles.

4. Skin rejuvenation

The vampire facial is said to hydrate the skin and refines its texture, giving a luminous and flawless complexion. If you are obsessed with Korean glass skin, vampire facial might be your go to treatment. A vampire facial can not only hydrate the skin, but improve skin texture, mimicking Korean glass skin.

How soon can you see the results?

A single session can yield an immediate glow lasting 1 to 3 months, says Dr Srivastava. For optimal anti-ageing outcomes, you need multiple sessions to capitalise on collagen induction, with visible improvements manifesting after 70 days.

Can people with HIV undergo vampire facial?

HIV is transmitted through bodily secretions and blood transfusions or blood related products. People with HIV should refrain from undergoing vampire facial to avoid transmission of this deadly virus to other people, says the expert.

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Is vampire facial a safe procedure?

You may feel a bit of pain or experience bruising, and swelling after the treatment, but these tend to go away within a few days. However, the biggest risk comes from the way your blood is handled during the procedure. If the blood removed from your body is not kept sterile, you could develop an infection, as per the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

Prior to embarking on the vampire facial journey, diligent research is essential to vet the credentials of the practitioner and assess the facility’s adherence to sterilization standards.

A woman getting a vampire facial
Do research before going for vampire facial. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

Who should avoid vampire facial?

Some people need to be more cautious:

  • People with thrombocytopenia and platelet dysfunction because this is a platelet-oriented treatment and if platelets are not good quality or quantity wise, then results will be compromised.
  • Septicemia, as it is an acute infection of the blood that can be worsened with PRP treatment.
  • Active acne, psoriasis and eczema at the site of injection is a relative contraindication. Acne, psoriasis and eczema can be flared when vampire facial is done.
  • Keloidal tendency. This is a condition wherein a minor trauma, cut or burn can cause exaggerated wound healing response, resulting in large scars.

The vampire facial is a non-surgical cosmetic treatment, which can rejuvenate your skin. But as with any cosmetic intervention, informed decision-making and collaboration with a qualified dermatologist are needed to navigate the nuances of this treatment.

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