San Antonio dermatologist offering Vampire Facials, using patients’ own blood to promote healing


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Call it a medical treatment straight out of a Bram Stoker story.

A North San Antonio dermatologist is offering skin treatments that involve spreading components of the patient’s own blood over their face to promote skin rejuvenation.

The procedure, which San Antonio's Sonterra Dermatology began offering this month, uses platelet-rich plasma derived from a patient’s own blood. Appropriately enough, it's being billed as a Vampire Facial — and just in time for Halloween.

“We have studied these procedures for well over a year, and after reading through clinical trials and results, we are excited to offer the official Vampire brand skin-enhancing procedures here at Sonterra Dermatology,” said Dr. Annabelle Garcia, who operates the north San Antonio dermatology clinic, in an email. “The platelets are like liquid gold because they have special factors that can promote healing.”

After being drawn, the patient's blood is spun in a device called a centrifuge, which separates the platelets. When used in conjunction with a procedure called micro-needling, which uses a pen-like device to create tiny punctures in the skin, Garcia said the process stimulates skin tightening and promotes growth of a patient’s own collagen.

If the idea of having crimson fluid smeared all over face à la Sissy Spacek in Carrie gives you heebie-jeebies, Garcia advises you not to worry.

“The one misconception with platelet-rich plasma and micro-needling is that the patient will see red blood all over his or her face,” she said. “The PRP is actually a more yellowish color.”

Even so, we're not sure it's a treatment the squeamish will flock to.

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