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'Vampire facial' gains popularity in North Carolina

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By LIZ BURCH, WLOS

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) - A new medical procedure dubbed the "vampire facial" is gaining popularity after celebrities like Kim Kardashian tried it. In Asheville, the vampire facial is available at Biltmore Restorative Medicine and doctors there said more and more people are being bitten by the trend.

In folklore, vampires live forever by feeding on other people's blood but in reality, you can use your own blood for more youthful skin.

"We simply take someone's own blood, we process it and then we use their own platelets and infuse it back into their skin," Dr. George Ibrahim explained.

Doctors and staff at Biltmore Restorative Medicine said the procedure isn't dangerous. First, they draw blood from a person's arm and put it into a machine called a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the platelet-poor plasma, the platelet-rich plasma and the buffy coat.

Once it's all separated, they put a numbing cream on your face and begin the micro-needling.

"It's like aerating the lawn and then we put the fertilizer on after," physician's assistant Shannon Michalka explained.

That helps the skin absorb those platelets.

Next -- and here's how the facial gets its name -- the person's blood is smeared all over his or her face.

"We're tricking the skin into thinking you have damage," Michalka said. "It helps to repair areas that have wrinkles, little fine lines."

The blood is left on for a few hours and the deed is done.

It turns out the cost of eternal youth isn't cheap. One of these facials will set you back about $800. But Ibrahim said the cost is worth the quality.

"It is your face. It's something you wear every day. It's not something you want to cut corners," Ibrahim said.

But it needs to be done by a medical professional, he cautioned.

"It's a medically governed procedure. This is not a 'day spa' type of procedure," Ibrahim said.

Although the facial has been growing in popularity, not everyone is sold on the idea.

Hannah Fuller said she's heard about it and is "grossed out."

"I kind of feel like once blood leaves the body, it's a medical waste, so it shouldn't be put back on your body," Fuller said.

She said that if any of her friends or family wanted to give it a try, she would be supportive. It's just not for her.

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