What is a ‘Vampire Facial’ and Why is Everyone Talking about It?

Skin burning tanning beds for the perfectly bronzed tint. Deadly lip-enhancing techniques for the plumpest pout. Excruciating bikini waxes for the smooth, air-brushed body. Beauty treatments often come with the worst kinds of side effects. But a new beauty fad has the chance to give potential users HIV and other deadly blood-borne diseases.

Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, or ‘Vampire facial’ as it is usually called, is a kind of facial treatment in which an enthusiast’s blood is drawn from them and then re-injected into the first layer of the face to improve quality of facial skin. The blood is drawn into syringes and then swirled around in a centrifuge machine to separate the plasma in the blood from the rest of the elements.

The plasma is high in nutrient value and has regenerative properties. This separated plasma is then injected into the person’s face using micro syringes that cause tiny facial invasions in the first layer of the skin to inject and spread the plasma around. The resultant skin is rejuvenated, glowing and looks fresher and healthier. Macabre, right? <!–

–> But wait till you hear the possible side effects. The ‘vampire facial’ could be responsible for the spread of blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis C and more. If a facility that provides such services is not using the right machinery or properly sanitizing the needles, the risk of transmitting blood-borne diseases is considerably high. Consider the case of tattoo studios that spread HIV by using unclean or used needles. Recently, New Mexico Department of Health in the US issued a warning to those who had availed the ‘vampire facial’ services offered by an Albuquerque spa after finding irregularities in the spa’s equipment and functioning. Those who have got the treatment from the particular spa have been asked to get themselves tested for HIV, Hepatitis and other diseases.

The procedure first claimed fame as an anti-ageing miracle after reality-TV star Kim Kardashian tried it out in 2013. Since then, several celebrities like Bar Rafaeli have tried the procedure out and have sworn by the results. Known results include tightening of sags under the eye, pores on skin becoming smoother, reduced irregularities and wrinkles. But the new fears have got users on social media asking whether such treatments are really worth their lives.

The fashion and beauty industry is notorious for coming up with absurd and often risky ‘treatments’ for attaining better skin, hair and body. These treatments are then peddled as magic ‘solutions’ to perceived problems that are in turn created by the very industry itself.

And as far as the treatment’s real-time benefits go, beauty blogger Marie Lodi tried out the treatment and found that a session of the therapy took about five days to recover from and a series of sessions were required to get any real results. After her trial first session,, her face broke into rashes and required constant care. On the fifth day, though her face was visibly brighter and the redness had subsided, Lodi reported that the changes were not in proportion to the pain endured. Even Kim Kardashian herself later admitted that the treatment had been excruciating (she had undergone it without facial anesthesia or numbing as she was pregnant). The celebrity reportedly said that she regretted ever getting the treatment.

Updated: September 14, 2018 — 1:14 pm