Vampire Facials

I thought I had heard of everything regarding facial treatments. Apparently not. And while I like vampires just as much as the next gal, maybe more, this press release I received is way beyond the (very) pale:

“I am sure you are familiar with the recent trend labeled by the media as the vampire filler,” the release says. “In case you are not, in medical terms, it is the Selphyl injectable filler, which actually uses patients’ own blood from their arms. The blood is then mixed with a proprietary substance, which separates the substances in the blood from the platelets and fibrin, both of which help the blood to clot. When they are purified and injected into the face, they evidently stimulate the growth of new collagen.”

Sounds pretty nutty to me, so I asked board-certified plastic surgeon David Palaia, attending surgeon in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital and chief emeritus of its department of plastic surgery, for his thoughts. “People have been injecting plasma for years,” he says. “Selphyl is a new proprietary system that removes plasma from blood drawn in the doctor’s office. It separates the red cells from the plasma, leaving platelets and fibrin. This is then injected under the skin to promote collagen formation and fill the area. It supposedly lasts a year or more. It is called the vampire filler because it uses blood and everyone is vampire-crazy these days. I have no knowledge of long-term studies to see if this is safe or effective.”

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