[STRANGE BUT TRUE] The Weird Beauty Treatment Linked to HIV
(AscendHealthy.com) – We humans can put ourselves through a lot in the name of beauty. Vanity can be painful, especially when it drives us to undergo surgery or take other extreme measures. For at least two people who decided to try the “Vampire Facial” beauty treatment, the choice may have left them infected with HIV. We have the bloody details.
What’s a “Vampire Facial”?
We come up with some interesting ways to keep ourselves looking youthful, but this one has got to take the prize for creativity. The Vampire Facial borrows from another set of treatments: microneedling and platelet-rich plasma injections. Yes, it’s every bit as bloody as it sounds.
Microneedling, according to Healthline, involves covering the treated area with fine pinpricks, creating just enough trauma to promote healing without causing any real damage. Some experts believe the procedure prompts the skin to go into healing mode, which may boost collagen production and improve physical appearance.
The Vampire Facial also uses microneedling — but in addition, it involves removing the patient’s blood, concentrating the platelets and injecting it under the skin. Proponents believe the addition of platelet-rich plasma tricks the skin into thinking it’s sustained more damage than it really has. In theory, this confusion prompts it to boost collagen production.
Kim Kardashian briefly brought the practice into the limelight after she shared a picture of her bloody face on Instagram. (Warning: Image is graphic.)
The Link to HIV
A procedure using the patient’s own blood shouldn’t expose the person to any diseases they didn’t already have, but problems can arise wherever people are handling needles and bodily fluids. These types of mishaps don’t occur when all personnel follow proper protocols — but human error happens, and sometimes people pay dearly for it.
According to a BBC News report, two people may have contracted HIV after having Vampire Facials performed at the VIP Spa in Albuquerque, NM. Both people contracted identical strains of the virus. Because HIV mutates so quickly, this finding means both people caught their infections from the same source. The only possible link between the two so far has been the VIP Spa.
The technique’s developer, Charles Runels, says this particular beauty spa wasn’t certified to do his procedure, and he insists the Vampire Facial is safe when performed by a qualified specialist. He warns that “impostors,” whom he works hard to shut down as often as possible, are numerous and he asks that anyone interested in getting their own Vampire Facial go to his website for a list of certified practitioners.
People may go to some gruesome extremes to hold on to their youthful looks, and their efforts don’t always pay off. Granted, no one expects to leave the beauty spa with HIV, but maybe there’s a bigger lesson here for all of us. Maybe it’s time we spent less energy worrying about superficial appearance and more time focusing on how we might promote real youth and longevity from the inside? After all, what’s beauty without a strong, healthy body to sustain it?
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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