Vampire Facial & # 39; has exposed spa customers to HIV, New Mexico Health Officials Say

(CNN) – Health professionals recommend clients who have received a "vampire facial" or other type of injection-related service at a spa in Albuquerque to be tested for HIV and other blood-borne infections, as unsafe practices have recently been identified.

The Department of Health in New Mexico announced on Tuesday that a VIP Spa customer has developed an infection that may be the result of a spa treatment.

Now the department is urging the client to visit the state of Midtown Public Health Office this week for testing and counseling in the areas of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

"It is very important that everyone who received a vampire facial treatment or other injection-related service in the VIP Spa in May or June 2018 will come to the Midtown Public Health Office for free and confidential lab tests and counseling," Lynn Gallagher, secretary of cabinet for the New Mexico Department of Health, said in the announcement.

An inspection of the spa on Friday revealed that it exercised in a way "that could potentially spread blood-borne infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C to clients," the announcement said.

Then the spa was issued a cancellation letter and immediately closed, the department said.

A spa representative declined to comment and CNN tried to contact a lawyer for the spa on Thursday.

When done safely and in the right way, vampire facial treatment – also known as plasma-rich protein facial treatment – would not expose customers to such blood-borne infections, experts say.

"This should never have happened in the first place," said Dr. Kenneth Mark, a cosmetics dermatologist with a certificate in New York and a clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone Health, who was not involved in the New Mexico case.

"As long as the correct protocols are followed and no equipment is shared for patients," he said, "it should not be a problem."

How a vampire facial treatment & # 39; works

A facial mask of a vampire is the drawing of a person's blood, hence the name.

"The blood is then centrifuged, which means that it is processed in a centrifuge machine, where it rotates very quickly," said Dr. Ehsan Ali, a board-certified physician in internal medicine known as the Beverly Hills Concierge Arts.

Next, "the plasma is then extracted." The plasma is what contains all the nutrients, the growth factors and the protein that helps stimulate a new skin, new collagen, and that is essentially the benefit, "he said.

The plasma is then layered on the top of the face and re-injected into the skin using a tool called a micro-needle pen, which creates small holes in the skin with miniature fine needles.

Ali, who was not involved in the New Mexico case, said that if the micro-lancing device or other equipment is not properly discarded or sterilized between facials, this could expose patients to possible blood-borne infections, as was observed. in New Mexico. This could happen if micro-injection tips or syringes were reused, or if the blood of another patient was used to perform the facial treatment, for example.

When he is interested in vampire facial treatment, Ali advised patients to see practitioners opening new syringes to take blood and replacing the micro-needle pen before the procedure is performed.

"Make sure you see that everything is done for you," he said. "Make sure the site uses new equipment, replacing the tips and needles."

Dr. Michael Dobryansky, a plastic surgeon at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group trained in the cosmetic vampire method, said that specific training providers should complete to get a permit in a complex procedure such as vampire facial treatment.

"So for patients, when they research places to get these kinds of procedures, they have to make sure that the places are actually vampire certified, because there is specific training and there is specific maintenance of certification that that organization requires from its suppliers in order to to be able to perform procedures and to be able to offer them continuously to patients, "said Dobryansky, who was not involved in the New Mexico case.

"If you look at it as a consumer, you probably landed in a reputable place," he said.

Patients should also ensure that every facility they visit for such procedures complies with universal safety measures, such as "hand washing and wearing gloves, wearing masks where necessary, properly handling waste, including blood-related waste," he said. "So all those things must be present."

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