Plasma skin regeneration and Non surgical blepharoplasty
Plasma skin regeneration (EAST®)
Plasma skin regeneration (PSR) is a non-laser treatment that uses a device to deliver energy in the form of plasma to rejuvenate skin by improving droopy eyelids, facial lines and wrinkles (rhytides) and skin pigmentation associated with photo-aging.
How does it work?
To understand how PSR works a basic understanding of skin structure is required. Briefly, skin consists of 3 layers, the epidermis (uppermost layer), dermis (mid-lay) and subcutis (lower fat layer). The epidermis contains pigment-producing cells called melanocytes, which are responsible for skin coloring. The dermis is made up of collagen and elastin fibers that provide skin with strength, toughness, elasticity and pliability.
As the body ages, the appearance and characteristics of the skin alter. The epidermis becomes thinner so blemishes become more visible, and collagen in the dermis is gradually lost which contributes to the formation of facial lines, sagging skin and wrinkles.
PSR technology uses energy delivered from plasma rather than light or radio-frequency, compared to other skin regeneration modalities (e.g. radio-thermoplasty). EAST® works by delivering millisecond pulses of nitrogen-based plasma to the skin via a handpiece. Within the handpiece an ultra-high-frequency (UHF) generator excites inert nitrogen gas naturally present in the air, which is converted into activated ionized gas called plasma. This plasma-containing energy is directed through the tip of the handpiece and onto the skin. The energy delivered produces a heating action that works at the skin’s surface to remove old photo-damaged or inelastic epidermal cells, and below the skin surface or dermis to promote collagen growth.
The EAST® device can be used at varying energy levels to achieve differing results.
Although all protocols improve fine lines, tone and texture, and skin pigmentation, it appears that skin/tissue tightening is more pronounced with high-energy treatments. The low-energy treatments marketed as EAST® produce results gradually over time and have very little, if any, associated downtime. Most patients can have their first treatment at their first consultation and return to their daily activities directly afterwards.
Who is suitable for PSR?
PSR is used to rejuvenate skin by improving sagging eyelids, facial lines and wrinkles (rhytides) and skin pigmentation associated with photo-aging. It is best performed during the early signs of aging such as:
age spots and skin discoloration (hyper-pigmentation)
> early jowling
> loosening skin around the eyes
> creasing around the nose and mouth
> wrinkling around the nose and mouth
What does the procedure involve?
The following is an outline of the PSR procedure:
> The consultant will discuss with patient to define treatment areas and determine goals of treatment.
> Pre-treatment photographs will be taken.
> A topical anesthetic cream is applied 1 hour prior to treatment starting.
Application of EAST® PSR
The amount of energy absorbed is affected by the hydration of the epidermis. Dry skin absorbs more energy. For this reason as each area is about to receive treatment the anesthetic cream will be wiped off with a dry gauze immediately prior to applying the device.
> The tip of the handpiece will be held about 1mm from the skin’s surface as the pulses of plasma energy are delivered.
> A full-face treatment usually takes less than 30 minutes if performed with EAST®
> With the help of local anesthetic cream, the procedure is relatively painless. A localized sensation of heat will be felt.
Post-treatment and recovery
> Low-energy treatments may cause mild redness of the skin that lasts 2-3 days. Some flaking of the skin may occur as dead skin is replaced with new skin.
> Higher energy treatments will cause mild to moderate redness of the skin in addition to the skin turning brown and shedding or flaking over the next 5-10 days after treatment. Patients should be advised not to pick or peel skin to avoid scarring.
> During the healing phase and for several months after treatment, it is recommended that the treatment area be protected using a moisturizing sunblock with an SPF of at least 50+. Protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats should also be used.
> Usually results are immediate and progressive.
What are the side effects and complications?
EAST® appears to be very well tolerated by most patients, particularly low-energy treatments. Shaving or application of make-up can be done immediately after scabs spontaneously resolve. This usually happens after three days. In most cases, patients can return to work directly after treatments or the following day, depending upon their skin condition and treatment.
To date no major side effects have been reported. Some of the side effects and complications that may occur, especially after higher energy level treatments include:
> Excessive desquamation (scaling, peeling) and some crusting
> Redness and swelling for up to one week after treatment – this can be helped by applying an ice pack at 10-minute intervals for the first 24 hours. Where patients have received high energy PSR, redness can persist up to 4 to 6 weeks after treatment.
> Temporary hyper-pigmentation.