US state of New Mexico’s attorney general has issued a health warning against “vampire facials” after two clients of an Albuquerque spa contracted HIV, The Daily Mail reported.
State Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that he is officially launching a criminal investigation into the matter.
“Vampire facials” became trendy after Kim Kardashian shared a picture of herself after getting the purportedly anti-aging treatment on Instagram in 2017.
But the procedure—which involves drawing a person’s blood, enhancing it, and then re-injecting it into their face—is completely unregulated.
“Vampire facials” are clinically referred to as platelet rich plasma therapies.
Platelets are a component of the blood that contain growth factors, which are important to the healing of injuries.
In cosmetic use, the theory is that these platelets also help to repair skin damage from aging. But it has not been thoroughly tested, proven, or regulated for anti-aging effects.
VIP Spa, in Albuquerque, was offering the controversial treatment before its September 2018 closure.
State health department inspectors, however, had found that its practices had the potential to expose clients to “bloodborne diseases”
After the discovery that two VIP Spa clients had contracted the disease, the health department began offering free screening to anyone who had been to the spa and received an injection service—including a vampire facial.
So far, about 130 people have been tested.
Still, Balderas is warning against the risky procedure, and calling on state and federal officials and the US Food and Drug Administration to rein in and regulate the practice before anyone else contracts a life-threatening illness.