Updated April 30th, 2024 at 15:18 IST

What Is Vampire Facial, Beauty Treatment That Infected 3 Women With HIV?

While Vampire Facials are generally considered safe, the recent HIV case has highlighted that there are potential side effects and risks to be aware of.

Representative image of Vampire Facial | Image:Freepik

In a bizarre case emerging from New Mexico, three women contracted HIV after getting a vampire facial at a local salon. While beauty trends are fleeting and one makes way for another, some leave an indelible mark, which can be as negative as contracting a life threatening disease. What is this beauty treatment and how can it cause grave diseases? Let us find out.

What is a vampire facial?

The term "Vampire Facial," also known as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, gained popularity when celebrities like Kim Kardashian began endorsing this innovative skincare treatment. Contrary to its eerie name, a Vampire Facial is a non-surgical cosmetic procedure designed to rejuvenate the skin and promote a more youthful appearance. It involves the use of the patient's own blood to stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture.

Representative image of beauty treatment | Image: Unsplash

What is the procedure for a vampire facial?

The procedure begins with a medical professional drawing a small amount of the patient's blood, typically from their arm. The blood is then processed in a centrifuge machine to separate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) from the rest of the blood components. PRP contains growth factors and other bioactive proteins that promote tissue repair and regeneration.

Once the PRP is isolated, it is applied topically to the patient's face or injected into specific areas using microneedling techniques. Microneedling involves creating tiny punctures in the skin with a device equipped with fine needles, allowing the PRP to penetrate deeper layers of the skin. This process stimulates collagen and elastin production, leading to improved skin tone, texture, and overall rejuvenation.


The entire Vampire Facial procedure typically takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete, and patients may require multiple sessions spaced several weeks apart to achieve optimal results.

What are the potential side effects of a vampire facial?

While Vampire Facials are generally considered safe, the recent HIV case has highlighted that there are potential side effects and risks to be aware of:

Representative image of beauty treatment | Image: Unsplash

Redness and swelling - Mild redness and swelling at the treatment site are common immediately following the procedure. These side effects usually subside within a few hours to a few days.


Bruising - Some patients may experience bruising at the injection sites, particularly if they are prone to bruising or have sensitive skin. Bruising typically resolves on its own within a week or two.

Infection - Although rare, there is a small risk of infection associated with any procedure that involves needle injections. The risk increases if the blood is left out a little longer, as that can cause contamination. It is essential to follow post-treatment care instructions provided by your healthcare provider to minimise this risk.


Allergic reaction - In rare cases, patients may experience an allergic reaction to the PRP or other components used during the procedure. It is crucial to discuss any known allergies with your healthcare provider before undergoing treatment.


Published April 30th, 2024 at 15:18 IST