Vampire facials or facelifts are massively popular – and potentially dangerous.
“It is by far my top service, said Carmen Kitts, a registered nurse and the owner of Glo Skin Care.
Kitts spent years working in emergency rooms and operating rooms and then made the transition to facial aesthetics.
“The vampire facial was coined back probably in 2015 with Kim Kardashian. The vampire part of it is from drawing platelet-rich plasma from the patient. Your own blood has wonderful healing and growth factors, which is the top thing in aesthetics at this time,” said Kitts.
Jody Royer, 54, has had the procedure done at Glo Skin Care.
“I noticed firmer skin, getting rid of some fine lines and wrinkles, just a glowing complexion,” said Royer. “I like the natural look. I am not trying to look 20 years younger. I just want to look good for my age and have nice skin for my age.”
A numbing cream is painted onto the patient’s face and then a vial of their blood is taken and placed into a centrifuge.
“It will spin down the healing and growth factors,” said Kitts
Then, a microneedling machine is used to make microscopic holes in the skin on the face and neck. Previously, handheld pen-like devices were used, which would cause more pinpoint bleeding that helped coin the term vampire facial. Advancements have been made, with the FDA approving a few microneedling machines including Vivace, which is used at Glo Skin Care.
“It has 36 stainless steel needles that are very precise,” said Kitts “It also combines radio frequency and light therapy, so red and blue light for acne and aging. It is a trifecta, everything we ever wanted in a microneedling device. It is genius.”
After the microneedling process, the patient’s plasma is rubbed on their face.
“It helps with tone, texture, pore size, elasticity. It does wonders for lines around the mouth, lines around the eyes and certainly acne scarring,” said Kitts.
The whole process takes about two hours. Lauren Carter, 28, has done the procedure twice.
“You experience little to no pain. I can tell that there is a tool touching my face, but really, other than that, I can’t feel anything,” said Carter.
Kitts says the procedure is popular with men and women and is often recommended in a series.
“You will see results with one, however, the best result will come with three to four treatments. The final collagen regrowth result will come six months after your final treatment,” said Kitts.
The New Mexico Department of Health recently shut down a medical spa that was offering vampire facials after officials discovered the spa was not handling and disposing of needles properly. Several patients were advised to get tested for blood-borne diseases.
There have been no reports of incidents like that in Pennsylvania.
Here’s what you should know:
– This is not regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health or the Department of State.
– There is some oversight; medical spas must be OSHA compliant.
– The needles used in the microneedling machine are disposable.
Tips if you are considering the procedure:
– Look for a medical spa that has a registered nurse or a physician on staff.
– Find a medical spa using an FDA-approved microneedling machine.
– It is not recommended for women who are pregnant or lactating.
– The average cost is $700 to $1,100 per treatment.