Procedure

Plasma Pen Treatment- Aesthetic Medicine/ Cosmetology, Dermatology, Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

Disclaimer: Please note that Mya Care does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is not intended to replace the care or advice of a qualified health care professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your health care regimen.

The popularity of non-invasive and minimally invasive aesthetic procedures is increasing worldwide.

Plasma Pen Treatment is a recent addition to the list. Like some other popular cosmetic procedures, it relies on provoking the skin's regenerative mechanism.

Overview

The goal of Plasma Pen treatment is to make the skin firmer and tighter, remove acne scars, and diminish other signs of age-related damage, such as sunspots and fine lines.

The principle of causing micro-trauma to boost self-rejuvenation within the skin is well-known in aesthetic medicine. However, the technology behind the Plasma Pen is different. To understand the difference, we first need to know what plasma is.

What is plasma?

We’ve all heard the word plasma. There’s plasma in our blood. There is even an aesthetic treatment that uses blood plasma for skin rejuvenation (PRP). But, Plasma Pen works with a different kind of plasma.

Plasma is the state gases take when they are super-heated. Scientists sometimes call it the fourth state of matter. Whatever it is, in Plasma Pen, it is hot.

Plasma Pen uses two electrodes to create a voltage high enough to generate an arc of ionized nitrogen gas. The device heats the skin without touching its surface.

How does Plasma Pen work?

Plasma Pen creates an arc of plasma and uses it to inflict micro-trauma to the skin. It wounds the skin by "cooking" a small portion of the dermis. That sparks off a healing response during which fibroblasts create more collagen.

The mechanism of action is very similar to microneedling, but the technology is different. The first effect is visibly tighter skin.

The treatment works equally well on skin of all ages and genders. It can address various skin changes. However, it is primarily an anti-aging and skin-tightening procedure.

Plasma Pen is not the best option for people with dark skin (Fitzpatrick scale 4, 5, and 6). High pigment levels in the skin increase the risk of side effects and complications.

Who should perform Plasma Pen Treatment?

Although there are cases of trained technicians performing the procedure, this is ill-advised. Plasma Pen is a simple device, so almost anyone with adequate training can learn to handle the device properly. However, that does not mean they understand the anatomy of skin layers. Nor that they know how to deal with potential complications.

Therefore, only a certified skin specialist should conduct the treatment. The preferable session environment is a controlled, sterile, and well-equipped procedure room.

At-home use of a Plasma Pen is not a good idea.

The Procedure

One treatment session with Plasma Pen usually lasts between thirty and sixty minutes.

First, your care provider will cleanse your skin and apply a topical anesthetic. The numbing agent takes up to thirty minutes to take full effect. That time does not count as part of the treatment.

When the anesthetic takes action, the doctor will proceed with the Plasma Pen Treatment. With a hand-held device, they create small dots in the treatment area. It is normal to feel some discomfort during this time.

The last part of the procedure is removing the numbing agent and cooling gel application. That minimizes the burning sensation and tingling post-treatment.

Immediately after Plasma Pen treatment, you will not look your best. Small scabs will form in all treated areas, and they will remain there for one week to ten days.

What are the benefits of the Plasma Pen procedure?

Plasma Pen is a potential alternative to eyelid and facelift surgery. It is also a low-cost, no downtime option for patients unfit for surgery, with satisfying outcomes.

The benefits of Plasma Pen also include:

  • Sunspots removal,
  • Acne scars improvement,
  • Stretch marks reduction, and
  • Fine lines and wrinkle smoothing.

The results become visible one week to ten days after the procedure. But, they keep improving due to new collagen synthesis within the skin. After three months, the maximum effect is usually visible. Improvements can last up to three years.

Indications for Plasma Pen Treatment include:

  • Forehead lines
  • Crow’s feet
  • Smile lines
  • Turkey neck
  • Smoker’s lines
  • Jawline tightening
  • Marionette lines

Is Plasma Pen Treatment Painful?

The procedure is not painless. Patients describe it as mildly to moderately painful. The level of discomfort varies from person to person. The use of topical anesthetics is routine for Plasma Pen Treatment. However, that does not eliminate pain in some individuals.

Before and Aftercare Tips

Before the treatment, avoid doing anything that affects the level of pigment or color of the skin for four to six weeks minimum. That includes:

  • Sun tanning
  • Spray-tanning
  • Tanning injections
  • Sunbeds

During that time, discontinue the use of retinol and avoid having other aesthetic procedures, such as:

  • Dermal fillers
  • Botox injections
  • Laser therapy
  • Chemical peels

After the treatment:

  • Keep the treatment area dry until the scabs fall off.
  • Avoid anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or Advil.
  • Use fragrance-free detergent for washing clothes.
  • Do not apply ice to the treatment area
  • Do not pick crusts
  • Avoid using creams and other types of cosmetic products until the skin heals.
  • Use SPF 50 every time you go outside, regardless of the weather.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

The usual side effects stem out from the skin trauma the treatment causes. These include redness, flaking, swelling, and scabbing. They usually resolve on their own after ten days. Discoloration and scarring may appear as well. However, these are less common.

Picking the scabs can cause scarring and pitting. So, patients should avoid doing that by all means.

Some experts have a negative opinion of this procedure. They do not challenge the skin-tightening ability but the science behind it.

The main objection is the heat and electricity use, which causes "denaturalization of skin proteins." The process structurally changes the skin. It makes it firmer and tighter but at the expense of suppleness and smoothness.

The Final Word

Plasma Pen is a simple and effective minimally invasive anti-aging, skin-tightening procedure. However, it is not entirely harmless. The vital thing is to trust your skin only to board-certified skin specialists, such as dermatologists and aesthetic medicine specialists. That is the best way to maximize the benefits of Plasma Pen Treatment.

References:

  • Loesch MM, Somani AK, Kingsley MM, Travers JB, Spandau DF. Skin resurfacing procedures: new and emerging options. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2014 Aug 28;7:231-41. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S50367. PMID: 25210469; PMCID: PMC4155739.
  • Bogle MA, Arndt KA, Dover JS. Evaluation of plasma skin regeneration technology in low-energy full-facial rejuvenation. Arch Dermatol. 2007 Feb;143(2):168-74. doi: 10.1001/archderm.143.2.168. PMID: 17309997.
  • Foster KW, Moy RL, Fincher EF. Advances in plasma skin regeneration. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008 Sep;7(3):169-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2008.00385.x. PMID: 18789051.
  • Kono T, Groff WF, Sakurai H, Yamaki T, Soejima K, Nozaki M. Treatment of traumatic scars using plasma skin regeneration (PSR) system. Lasers Surg Med. 2009 Feb;41(2):128-30. doi: 10.1002/lsm.20723. PMID: 19226574.
About the Author:
Dr. Rosmy Barrios is an aesthetic medicine specialist with international work experience. She earned her physician diploma at the Universidad Del Norte’s School of Medicine in Barranquilla, Colombia, and her specialty at John F. Kennedy University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dr. Barrios is a member of Pan-American Aesthetic Medicine Association (PASAM) and the Union Internationale de Medecine Esthetique (UIME). She is an expert health writer with keen interests in aesthetic medicine, regenerative aesthetics, anti-aging, fitness, and nutrition. Currently, Dr. Barrios heads the Regenerative Aesthetics department at a renowned Internal Medicine clinic based in Belgrade, Serbia.
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