LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There are rising concerns over the safety of trendy vampire facials after two people may have contracted HIV in connection with the procedure at a New Mexico spa.
Health officials in that state are investigating that case and reaching out to other clients who may have been affected.
Over the past four years, Las Vegas Aesthetics owner Thomas Pulice estimated he's performed upward of a thousand vampire facials and facelifts and even trains other medical professionals in the procedure.
But, he also says it's essential for clients to do their due diligence.
"You don't bargain hunt with your face," Pulice said. "You would never get heart surgery off of a Groupon. You wouldn't do it. You would never think of doing it. Why would you bargain hunt for your face which is exposed to people every day?"
Pulice also said there are several important things to look out for when getting a vampire facial:
-The experience level and training of the medical professional and the equipment used.
-When board certified, the medical professionals able to do vampire facials are physician assistants, nurse practitioners, cosmetic surgeons, and dermatologists.
Dr. Daliah Wachs, a local family practitioner, says the New Mexico spa likely made one of two mistakes.
"The two main sources are they used somebody else's blood, and that got injected into them, or they used the patient's blood, but it was a contaminated needle," she said.
However, Pulice said when a certified medical professional does complete the procedure correctly, the facial's benefits can include a decrease in fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, puffiness, and discoloration.