How and Why It Works
For the past two years, I’ve been treating dozens of patients each month with Plasma Pen to tighten and lift skin. Positive word of mouth referrals have brought women and men of all ages wanting to know about this non-surgical “facelift” procedure that smooths and tightens aging skin. If you’re seeking a natural, low risk treatment with outstanding results, take a few minutes to learn more about Plasma Pen Fibroblasting. In a few minutes, you’ll get the straight scoop on how and why Plasma Pen works and what to expect.
1. How does Plasma Pen treatment compare in effectiveness to other invasive skin treatments?
Plasma Pen is a minimally invasive skin tightening treatment that uses ablative technology to rejuvenate skin by delivering thermal energy to the skin’s surface and underlying structures of the skin. The mechanism of action for most ablative and non-ablative skin treatments (radiofrequency, Nd:YAG, Diode, Alexandrite, IPL) as well as microneedling (with and without radiofrequency) work by stimulating collagen, elastin fibers and fibroblasts located in the dermis (middle layer of skin). The depth of penetration for various medical skin treatments is influenced by many factors such as depth of energy delivered, number of passes, user technique and interpatient variability. Suneva’s new FDA approved Plasma Pen IQ delivers depth of penetration to the papillary dermis (upper levels) at the low setting and reticular dermis (deeper levels) at high setting making it highly effective to tighten thin or thicker tissue yielding tighter, smoother skin.
Unlike ablative lasers (CO2, Er:YAG) that vaporize the surface of the skin to encourage new skin to heal in its place, Plasma IQ pen procedure does not leave the patient with open wounds increasing the risk of potential infection. Check out the comparative chart illustrating the Plasma IQ pen to other skin texturing procedures.
2. What are the best areas for a Plasma Pen treatment?
Plasma Pen Fibroblasting–the newest generation of effective skin rejuvenation and tightening procedures–can be applied to almost any area of the face or body to improve texture. The result is a reduction in wrinkles and fine lines or the removal of benign moles/skin tags. The most commonly requested areas for impressive results from a singular treatment are: vertical lip lines, horizontal neck wrinkles, under eye crepiness, upper eye hooding, and crow’s feet.
3. What are the advantages of Plasma Pen compared to surgery?
Results can approach those of cosmetic surgery or laser treatment. Plasma Pen is much less invasive and less expensive than surgery with less downtime and reduced discomfort post treatment. There is no skin cutting, open wounds, bleeding, stitches or staples, and is far less invasive than surgery. Plasma Pen doesn’t thin skin like some other medical ablative laser treatments. You leave the procedure with little to no pain. However, you will be left with small scabs for typically 4-10 days. Your results are natural looking and cumulative with successive treatments (if needed).
4. Am I a good Plasma Pen candidate?
If you have a medical condition listed on the chart below, these conditions would rule you out for a Plasma Pen skin tightening procedure.
· Pregnancy and breastfeeding
· Cardiac disorders
· Uncontrolled diabetes
· Active herpes or shingles
· Psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, vitiligo
· Scars including hypertrophic, keloid scars or previous occurrences of keloid scar
· Birthmark and Port-wine stains
· Blood coagulation (hemophilia)
· Auto-immune disorders (Lupus)
· Patients with implantable pacemakers
· Patients with metal or electrically conductive implants
· Circulatory disorders
Smokers typically have impaired skin healing. I ask my patients to stop smoking for at least a month before I would perform their Plasma Pen treatment.
Patients with ethnic skin (Fitzpatrick Skin Types IV, V, VI) are at greater risk for hyperpigmentation from the thermal effects of the Plasma Pen that can stimulate unwanted melanin (brown pigment) in skin. Plasma Pen outcomes are best on lighter skinned people. Caucasian patients with darker undertones and more olive complexion wanting Plasma Pen can be pre-treated with hydroquinone to suppress melanin (brown pigment) before and after treatment to reduce the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). A consult with an experienced skin practitioner will determine if you’re a Plasma Pen skin tightening candidate.
5. Is Plasma Pen a painful procedure?
Each person’s pain threshold is different. Plasma Pen treatments typically require topical or injectable numbing to minimize discomfort during the procedure. Most patients only need 20-30 minutes of topical anesthetic before starting the procedure. Sensitive areas with thin skin around the eyes and upper lip sometimes require stronger injectable anesthetic administered by a licensed medical professional (RN, NP, PA or MD). With injectable numbing, patients feel no discomfort except for the small poke of the anesthetic injection. The downside of injectable numbing versus topical anesthetic are the risks of localized bruising and increased temporary swelling. To minimize bruising and swelling, I recommend my patients take oral Arnica Montana (a homeopathic supplement) to support the body’s natural healing process. Injectable anesthetic enables the Plasma Pen practitioner to do a safer and more thorough treatment of more remote skin areas. During the pre-treatment Plasma Pen consultation, we discuss options and concerns and create a personalized approach to pain management. My goal is to help you achieve the desired results with minimal to no discomfort.
6. What are Plasma Pen recovery expectations?
Plasma Pen practitioners need to set realistic expectations for their patients considering Plasma Pen for skin tightening and lifting. Most patients leave the treatment with tiny scabs about 1 cm apart in the treated area. See treatment photos. See treatment results. In between the scabs is mild to moderately red for a few days with minor swelling. The patient usually feels heat from the increased circulation to the area but not pain. If injectable anesthetic has been administered, the treated area can appear more swollen from the fluid under the skin. The added fluid usually absorbs in a day or two post procedure. Patients can go about their daily business excluding hard physical workouts for the first week post treatment. It’s important to let the scabs fall off naturally as part of the healing process-no picking! Once the crusts fall off between 4-10 days, pink new skin growth appears. At this point, the patient can cover up their pink new growth “dots” with tinted mineral based foundation make-up. Although the healing process varies person to person, the typical plasma pen complete healing is between 4-12 weeks to see the optimal skin tightening result. I recommend my patients use regenerative Alastin’s Nectar which potentiates the neocollagenesis (building of new healthy collagen) to enhance skin tightening. Patients are reminded of greater sun sensitivity post treatment and need to apply good mineral-based sun protection daily with zinc and/or titanium oxide and at least 30 SPF. Skin Better Science and Alastin have a plethora of highly effective sun protection options, with elegant glide and tint options.
7. How does cost compare to other treatments?
Most practitioners charge Plasma Pen services based on the time it takes to effectively treat a targeted area. Typically the cost of Plasma Pen is less than other laser or surgical procedures that claim to tighten skin. Request a price quote in advance to avoid surprises. It’s not uncommon to get price reductions for multiple treatment areas performed in the same visit. A small area can start at $400 (eg. crow’s feet) and range to $2000 for a large area like a stomach or an entire lower face. Check out typical Plasma Pen pricing
8. Who is qualified to perform Plasma Pen treatments?
Licensing requirements for skin care professionals vary by state and country. In most states, Plasma Pen trained medical/master estheticians and registered nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants can safely administer Plasma Pen treatments. Some Plasma Pen distributors such as Suneva’s Plasma IQ pen (the only FDA approved Plasma Pen) only train RN’s, PA’s, ARNP’s and MD’S to be certified on their Plasma Pen. Individual medical practitioners can delegate this treatment to be delivered by trusted master estheticians. Other Plasma Pen distributors (Plasma Concepts) train all licensed skin practitioners including medical estheticians. If considering Plasma Pen, do your research to find out how and when and the practitioner was trained. Ask for proof of certification demonstrating safe and effective technique, how many treatments they’ve done and for how long, and which Plasma Pen they use. Ask to see their before and after photos of Plasma Pen treated patients and check out their online reviews on Google, Yelp, RealSelf and other social media sites.
9. What are Plasma Pen risks?
Plasma Pen risks are minimal compared to surgery or other medical skin procedures. The few associated risks are reduced if the patient is properly evaluated during the pre-treatment consultation to lessen the potential for hyperpigmentation or scarring. For some patients, the healing process can take longer. With time and patience, the side effects of any Plasma Pen will resolve with tighter, more youthful appearing skin.
10. How long does Plasma Pen treatments last?
Plasma Pen skin tightening is a relatively new treatment alternative in the U.S. It lessens appearance of age lines, lifts and tightens loose skin, removes certain blemishes (eg. skin tags, scars, moles), and smooth rough texture (“orange-peel” chins). Plasma skin treatments create “dots” –small, concentrated coagulation zones–using a microneedle on the treatment area. This causes the skin to shrink and regenerate itself while inducing healthy new collagen in the process. The skin tightens naturally as it heals. Most patients see the benefits of treatment for at least two years. If you notice skin laxity returning, it is best to return to your medical skin specialist for an evaluation. For surgery adverse patients or the patient who wants to kick the surgery can down the road as long as possible, Plasma Pen treatment is a great option. Bottom line: it’s effective and a great value for the investment.
To schedule your complimentary consultation with Eve Stern, RN, MS. LME, call (425) 366-8222 x3.