You may or may not of have heard of a fabulous new technique for skin tightening that uses a device called a plasma pen — perhaps you’ve seen posts on social media showing how the plasma pen leaves pinpoint-sized marks on the skin of patients. With this tool, professionals in aesthetic medicine have at their disposal a novel and effective system for performing a specialized fibroblast treatment wherein sagging skin is lifted, excess skin is removed, and the signs of aging recede. Best of all, patients now have plasma lift as an alternative to expensive, invasive surgery.
Plasma pens produce the effect of skin tightening by promoting the production and natural regeneration of collagen and elastin, proteins that support skin and give it firmness and elasticity. The result is skin that’s smoother, with diminished wrinkling. The look of excess skin is noticeably reduced as well.
WHAT IS A PLASMA PEN?
A plasma pen is a device that bears a similarity to a mechanical toothbrush. Where the brush head would be, there’s a needle-like tip. This tip doesn’t actually touch the skin — it is the medium through which a plasma arc passes.
Plasma is sometimes called the fourth state of matter, and it forms when a gas is superheated. This causes the electrons to begin to detach from the atoms and move freely, which leads to an ionized gas, that is, a gas where all the particles carry an electric charge. A plasma pen uses electricity to ionize the oxygen and nitrogen in the air. This produces a plasma arc about one millimeter from the skin surface.
Why use a plasma pen on skin?
The plasma arc acts to vaporize any liquid at the point where it hits the skin. This causes the surrounding skin to tighten around that point. Furthermore, it produces a superficial, controlled lesion to the epidermis, the upper layer of skin. The process of having the plasma pen generate these tiny lesions is repeated over the entirety of the desired treatment area.
In addition to causing the skin to immediately tighten, the trauma from these lesions induces the production of collagen and elastin, both of which naturally lead to firmer skin. This is not a new process, as it is the basis for microneedling, a procedure where pinpricks in the skin cause cells to go into repair mode. These cells are called fibroblasts.
What are Fibroblasts?
Fibroblasts are cells whose function is to produce collagen, elastin, and growth factors. All of these are responsible for strengthening the skin’s connective tissue, which decreases considerably over the years. This is why plasma pens are often called fibroblast plasma pens. New collagen is formed over four to eight weeks, resulting in tighter, smoother, younger-looking skin.
WHAT CAN YOU TREAT DURING FIBROBLAST TREATMENT?
Fibroblast treatment with the use of plasma pen can be carried out on any part of the body, but the most common areas are the face and neck. It’s an excellent option for:
- Improving the appearance of acne scars
- Erasing the folds around the corners of the mouth
- Eliminating smoker’s lines
- Improving wrinkles in the neckline and forehead
- Treating expression lines
- Refining and reducing the size of stretch marks
- Improving sagging around the navel caused by pregnancy
- Removing moles and warts
- Tightening the jawline
- Lifting eyebrows and correcting asymmetrical eyebrows
- Improving wrinkles around the lips
- Reducing hyperpigmentation (age spots)
- Getting rid of bags and wrinkles on the upper and lower eyelids
- Lifting droopy upper eyelids
- Reducing the look of crow’s feet
These final three procedures constitute one of the most exciting things about the plasma pen. Due to the effect of skin contraction, fibroblast treatment can be used to remove excess skin around the eyes and to repair droopy eyelids. These are the same results you would get with a blepharoplasty, a type of surgery to improve the eyelids. But, of course, fibroblast treatment with the use of a plasma pen is non-surgical and non-invasive.
FIBROBLAST TREATMENT ADVANTAGES
These are among the many benefits of fibroblast treatment:
First, there are no injections or incisions.
Second, it’s cheaper than surgery.
Third, there are no stitches.
Next, as a non-invasive treatment, it requires little downtime.
Moreover, the skin rejuvenation results are cumulative and long lasting.
Healing is fast and the risk of treatment difficulties is minimal. The results are natural looking and don’t produce changes in facial expressions.
And the most important fact is that it can be done on various areas of the body!
HOW IS FIBROBLAST TREATMENT CARRIED OUT?
The practitioner will first cleanse the skin and then because everyone has a different tolerance for pain, she’ll apply a topical anesthetic cream. After about 30 minutes, this numbing cream will have taken effect and the dermatologist can proceed to treat the specific area of concern. The plasma pen will create plasma arcs in a series of points on the treatment area that will form small crusty dots on the skin. The procedure generally takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
Results may possibly be seen immediately after the first session, but bear in mind that the small scabs will take about a week to fall off naturally. This will leave a slight redness that gradually diminishes over one to two months. During this phase, it’s fine to apply makeup and generally go back to your normal life, but’s it’s highly recommended that you avoid swimming pools and also saunas and other sources of excessive sweating. Over the next few weeks, as skin heals, it will feel firmer and smoother. It’s advisable to book another session three months after the first, although it might not be necessary. After about eight weeks, you’ll be able to see the final effect, and the results can last between one and three years.
ARE ALL PLASMA PENS ALIKE?
Not all plasma pens are quality products. One of the most important things to check is whether the pen is a cheap knock-off made in China. A low-quality pen may not be a true plasma pen. Instead of creating plasma, it might just produce an electrical arc whose heat is not controlled. Plasma makes the epidermis go from a solid to a gas and then stops. That’s why the heat doesn’t spread to the surrounding area. With a cheap pen, you might be receiving unregulated heat that can cause burning and scarring.
And above all, remember that fibroblast treatment with a plasma pen is a technique that should be performed only by trained professionals, not only to have the best results, but also to protect your health.