Since May,2020 when our esthetic practice reopened post Covid lockdown, I am frequently asked about the difference between Microneedling with Plasma Rich Platelet (PRP) and Plasma Pen Fibroblast Therapy. During this time many people are working from home, aren’t spending money on entertainment/dining out, wearing masks, and/or may have noticed signs of aging when Zooming that they want to minimize or slow down. We suspect the increased demand for surgical and non-surgical esthetic medical services have increased significantly for one or several of these reasons. Two non-surgical procedures that improve the appearance of skin texture for a more youthful, even-toned, and smoother appearance are featured below.
What is Plasma Pen Fibroblast Therapy?
Think about Plasma Fibroblasting as non-surgical skin tightening to minimize the appearance of specific targeted wrinkles, loose skin and remove unwanted benign lesions. Unlike microneedling that uses broad strokes to smooth skin texture, Plasma Pen Fibroblast therapy uses a metal plasma tip on a pen-like device that discharges a high-frequency electrical arc current to form a combustible charge close to a targeted problem area. Unlike microneedling that creates micro-channels in the skin, the plasma tip doesn’t directly touch the skin. The heat from the ionized charged combustion near the skin creates small micro-injuries around the wrinkle leaving small scabs for a few days. The fibroblasts in your skin’s dermis stimulates new healthy collagen and elastin for tighter skin in 8-12 weeks post treatment. Plasma Pen end-results can last several years.
Plasma Pen treatment is performed by a medical esthetician with numbing cream and can take one or more hours based on the size of area being treated. The downtime is usually 4-7 days involving tiny scabs which fall off leaving pink, new growth skin which can be covered up with tinted make-up. The treatment itself can be uncomfortable but an experienced master esthetician will know how to manage the patient’s pain in sensitive areas like upper eyelids. There is minimal to no pain post treatment.
The end-result is tighter, younger-looking skin with no blood or surgical cutting!
What are the most common skin issues addressed by Plasma Pen Fibroblast Therapy?
- Upper eyelid hooding
- Horizontal neck lines and loose skin
- Fine lines, crepiness on upper eyes and under eyes
- Crow’s feet on lateral eyes
- Vertical lip lines above and below lips
- Forehead wrinkles
- Lines between brow’s (“1’s” or “11’s”)
- Jawline laxity
- Benign lesion removal
What is the typical cost for Plasma Pen Fibroblast Therapy?
Costs for Plasma Fibroblasting range from $850-$2000 depending on the size of the area being treated.
What is Microneedling with Plasma Rich Platelets (PRP)?
Microneedling is an anti-aging procedure using twelve or more small acupuncture needles to slow the aging process by stimulating collagen production to improve skin texture and tone. Also known as collagen induction therapy or percutaneous collagen induction, microneedling devices make small micro–channels with the tiny needles in a pen-like device. With medical grade devices, Microneedling treatment depths can reach 2.5 mm into the skin’s middle dermis layer. When the micro-channels are open, therapeutic skin products can be applied such as hyaluronic acid to boost hydration and/or lightening agents to break-up brown, sun damaged pigment. Optimal results from microneedling are visible between four to six months. A treatment takes about one hour, is performed by a medical esthetician who applies topical numbing cream, and usually has one day of potential downtime with redness, pin-point bleeding and minor swelling. Word of caution: Confirm that the microneedling device used is FDA approved.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) from your own blood is spun down in a centrifuge from whole blood drawn and can be massaged into your micro-channels instead of products. PRP has been reported to reduce inflammation, swelling and erythema (redness) post Microneedling. A few years back, PRP injections were more popular. Recent trends have been to integrate PRP with Microneedling but many patients aren’t seeing enough benefit of PRP for the added cost to Microneedling.
The scientific evidence for PRP to incrementally enhance microneedling results is ongoing and inconclusive for improving skin sagging and tone. A series of 3-6 microneedling treatments alone (without PRP) each year, usually one month apart, is an effective anti-aging protocol.
Microneedling treatments are ideal to reduce the appearance of:
- Acne and injury scars
- Brown hyperpigmentation
- Fine lines
- Shallow wrinkles
- Stretch marks
- Large pores
- Hair loss (alopecia)*
*Usually takes more than 3 treatments for new hair growth with PRP.
What is the typical cost per treatment for Microneedling and Microneedling with PRP?
The average cost for microneedling is between $300 for a full face to $450 for full face, neck and chest. Microneedling with PRP usually runs between $650-$750,
Lift Your Spirit with a 2020 Holiday Special
For both Microneedling and Plasma Pen Fibroblasting, consistent daily use of sun block (with zinc and/or titanium oxide) with 30+ SPF will be necessary post treatment given the heightened sun sensitivity. Both treatment awaken your natural skin potential naturally without cutting, pain or long downtimes.
I do recommend the daily use of Alastin Skin Nectar before and after both treatment to help with healing and enhance the outcome through its TriHex technology.
In summary, every person, male and female, ought to consider getting three medical grade microneedling treatments per year to slow the aging process by remodeling wilting, aging collagen. It’s a proven corrective and preventive measure for smoothing skin texture, breaking up sun-damaged pigment, and filling in damaged skin from surgical or acne scars. I also recommend treating your face, neck and chest since many folks focus solely on their face and then realize the disparity in aging from the neck and chest in later years.
I’m seeing extraordinary tightening results from Plasma Pen Fibroblasting from just one treatment. Unlike Microneedling, Plasma Pen targets specific problem areas and is customized to focus on your individual wrinkles, fine lines and areas needing tightening. Interested to see if you’re a good candidate for either plasma pen or microneedling? Schedule your complimentary consult, either in-person or via Zoom, to learn if you’re a good candidate and to take advantage of our once-a-year Holiday Special. Do something kind for yourself this holiday. We all need a lift after 2020!