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What is plasma pen?

Plasma pen is a device which uses plasma technology. Plasma consists of ionised, charged particles and it is the 4th state of matter along with liquid, gas and solid. Plasma pen uses this state matter by ionizing air and creating an arc (electrical discharge) from the needle attached to the unit.

The needle does not touch the skin; the device generates a heat and causes sublimation of epidermis (external layer of the skin). A tiny arc produces a millimetre size dot on the skin without any damage to the surrounding and deeper structures of the skin. The plasma causes instant contrac1tion and tightening of skin fibres leading to shortening and tightening of the skin. The surface of the skin contracts and heals without forming any scars. The heat stimulates collagen formation which produces delayed further tightening of the skin; this effect is evident over the next few months after the treatment. The skin becomes smooth with increased elasticity. Plasma pen procedure offers a very precise treatment with reasonably short downtime. The results are long lasting.

What are the indications for plasma pen treatment/plasma lift?

The indications are: excessive skin of upper and lower eyelids (eye bag), wrinkles of the face and neck (perioral lines/smokers lines, crow’s feet), seborrheic keratoses (age spots), coloured skin moles, sun spots, sun- induced lesions, tattoos removal.

How is the procedure with plasma pen performed?

Plasma pen procedure is performed under local anaesthesia. Topical anaesthetic (numbing) cream is applied prior the treatment. In some patients injected local anaesthetic (Lidocaine) might be needed. The procedure can take about 60-90 minutes depending on the treatment. Directly after the procedure over the treated area one has brown patches with multiple brown spots (carbon crusts) which take about 5-10 days to fall off. Once the initial swelling subsides and the crusts fall off the skin becomes pink. For 2-3 weeks the skin remains red, flaky and it might itch. If eyelids are treated there is a swelling (in some patients severe) which might last up to 7 days.

What are the side effects and complications after treatment with plasma pen?

The procedure is considered to be safe, but like with all medical procedures some side effects and complications might occur. The most common side effects are: bruising, red skin discolouration (skin can remain pink up to 4 weeks), swelling (up to 7 days), scabbing and crusting (usually resolve within 5-10 days but in some patients might take longer), hyperpigmentation/hypopigmentation (darkening/lightening of the skin, usually transient, but it might be prolonged), scarring (rare, but the risk is higher if aftercare instructions are not upheld), infections at the treated area, reactivation of cold sores (herpes simplex infection).

What are the contraindications to plasma pen procedure/plasma lift?

Contraindications include: pregnancy and breastfeeding, skin type 5 and 6 (darker skin types), acute illness (fever, infections), diabetes, certain skin conditions (e.g. psoriasis, eczema, skin infections, lupus erythematous, porphyria, keloid scarring), immunosuppressive diseases ( AIDS, lymphoma, leukaemia ) and immunosuppressive medications, anticoagulant medications ( e.g. warfarin), mental illness (depression, low body image), current use of photosensitive medications/supplements (e.g. tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, St John’s Wart), heart disease (angina pectoris, heart pacemaker), bleeding disorders, use of oral or topical Roaccutane or RetinA in previous 3 months, epilepsy, metal implants/plates/pins, current history of cancer, smoking, allergy to topical anaesthetics/Lidocaine.

What are the pre-treatment preparations for plasma pen/plasma lift?

There are no specific preparations before the procedure, but it is advisable to consider anti-viral prophylaxis for patients with a history of recurrent cold sores. Arrangements for taking time off from work for 5-10 days are also strongly recommended.

What are the aftercare instructions?

In order to achieve desirable results and to minimize side effects and complications it is very important to follow the aftercare instructions. One must not pick or scratch crusts. The face should be washed with designated cleanser (e.g. Cetaphil cleanser for sensitive skin or Dove soap) twice daily, antiseptic solutions should be applied as directed. The treated areas should be gently patted dry with a clean towel. It is very important to protect the area from direct sunlight and to apply a high factor sunscreen (SPF 50+) for minimum 2 months. Once the crusts fall off a routine skincare can be restarted, except for RetinA which should not be applied for at least 3 months. The area must not be covered with plasters as this can lead to scarring.

How many treatments are recommended?

Multiple treatment sessions (every 8 weeks) might be required to obtain satisfactory results.