Are you bothered by fine lines and wrinkles on your face? What about sagging skin or acne scars? A lot of people get embarrassed when their skin doesn’t look its best, but you have options to make it look better.
Here at Eterna Vein & Medical Aesthetics in Puyallup, Washington, Dr. Mark Kim specializes in aesthetic treatments to help improve the health and look of your skin. One of Eterna’s premier treatments is plasma resurfacing, a novel way to rebuild collagen and elastin, smoothing and tightening your skin in the process.
What is plasma resurfacing?
Plasma resurfacing is a non-laser treatment that delivers plasma energy to rejuvenate skin by promoting collagen and elastin production beneath the surface. This, in turn, eliminates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and removes age spots. Our office uses the NeoGen PSRT™ system. A handheld generator excites inert nitrogen gas, stripping away its outer electrons to form a high-energy gas called plasma. This plasma is directed out of the handpiece to heat up the treatment area and promote cell regeneration.
Skin contains three layers: the outer epidermis, the middle dermis, and the inner subcutis. The epidermis contains melanocytes, which are pigment-producing cells responsible for skin coloration. The dermis contains the collagen and elastin fibers that provide your skin with strength, pliability, and a smooth appearance.
As you age, your skin ages with you. The epidermis thins out, so blemishes become more visible. In addition, collagen and elastin production decrease, so you are prone to skin that wrinkles and sags. By heating up the dermis with plasma and creating a mild injury, the skin goes to work to increase both collagen and elastin production, firming up the surface layers so the sags and lines go away.
Plasma resurfacing is used to treat:
Age spots and skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation)
Creasing around the nose and mouth
Wrinkling around the nose and mouth
How often do I need the plasma resurfacing treatment?
At your initial consultation, the doctor assesses your health, and you can share your aesthetic goals. Then, he makes a recommendation about treatment. Generally, we recommend an initial series of three light (low-energy) treatments or one aggressive (high-energy) treatment.
After just 5-10 days, the upper layers of skin we treated will slough off, leaving a bright, fresh layer below. Collagen and elastin take more time to build up; you should see your skin start lifting and tightening about three months after your treatment. Patients report they continue to see improvement for up to a year!
We recommend getting a light treatment in three separate sessions, staggered a month apart. You shouldn’t need to repeat an aggressive treatment for 2-3 years, but if you feel you need another collagen and elastin boost, you can do it yearly.
What can I expect during the plasma resurfacing treatment?
If you’re getting an aggressive treatment, we may give you prescription medication to help you relax during the procedure, and you need to get someone to drive you home. Otherwise, you shouldn’t need any medication at all.
We first cleanse your skin, and if you’re getting an aggressive treatment, we apply a numbing cream 45-60 minutes before the treatment begins. If you’re getting a light treatment, you won’t need any numbing.
As the doctor targets the plasma at your skin, you hear a clapping or snapping sound with each pulse. For a light treatment, you feel a warm sensation and possibly the feeling you get with a mild sunburn. For an aggressive treatment, you feel a more concentrated spot of heat that feels almost like a pinprick.
Is there any aftercare I should be aware of?
We give you comprehensive written instructions before you leave, but here’s the gist of what you need to know.
You will have downtime. For patients who’ve had the light plasma resurfacing treatment, it’s 2-3 days; for patients who’ve had the aggressive treatment, it’s 7-10 days. You may feel warm, like you have a sunburn, for several hours after treatment, and you may have some mild, temporary swelling. It’s also possible to have an acne breakout. All of these, though, should resolve on their own.
Your skin is going to be fragile, and you need to treat it with care, keeping it moist and protecting it from the sun for about 3-4 weeks after treatment. Your skin may darken from a pinkish-red to brown over the next 3-5 days, but this is normal, and the brown layer will slough off when it’s ready.
Are you tired of lined and sagging skin and wish you could turn back the clock? Well, we can help you do that, with plasma resurfacing. To learn more, call us at 253-268-3400.