What is plasma fibroblastotherapy? Benefits and risks

Plasma fibroblast therapy refers to a cosmetic procedure that can help tighten and improve the appearance of the skin. Some healthcare professionals may offer this treatment as an alternative to laser, injection, or surgical treatments.

Plasma fibroblast treatment is a non-surgical skin tightening procedure that uses a high-energy discharge to make a small wound in the skin. This can encourage cells called fibroblasts to repair the skin and maintain its firmness.

Non-surgical skin tightening is a relatively common procedure. This less invasive treatment has a shorter recovery period than surgical options, but its results aren’t as dramatic and don’t last as long.

Plasma fibroblast therapy is a newer technique and therefore there is currently little evidence to support its effectiveness.

In this article, we discuss what plasma fibroblast therapy is, as well as its effectiveness and safety.

Plasma fibroblast therapy is a cosmetic treatment that can help firm the skin. His other names are:

  • plasma skin resurfacing
  • plasma skin regeneration
  • plasma needling
  • plasma lift

This treatment aims to improve the appearance of the skin by using plasma, which is a hot gas-like substance, to stimulate the fibroblast cells in the deep layer of the skin to repair the outer layers of the skin. Some institutions describe plasma as the fourth state of matter, along with solid, liquid, and gas.

A fibroblast is a type of skin cell that secretes collagen proteins into the dermis, the layer of skin just below the outermost skin layer. These cells play a important role in healing wounds and maintaining firmness and tightness of the skin.

A trained professional uses a pen-like device that discharges plasma for treatment. By applying energy to a gas, it creates a cloud of charged ions which is extremely hot and emits electromagnetic radiation.

Using the device, a person can deliver a targeted hot electrical current to the skin to create a small hole, or micro-wound, in the skin. In response to the micro-lesion, the fibroblasts activate and attempt to repair and regenerate the skin.

According to a 2022 article, the process of plasma fibroblast therapy allows the outer layer of skin to act as a natural bandage, prevents damage to deeper skin layers, and promotes faster recovery.

The article also lists the following advantages of the technique:

The author adds that people may find the treatment a well-tolerated, effective, and inexpensive procedure.

Additionally, a 2019 article states that the heat generated by a plasma pen can:

  • stimulate fibroblast activity
  • promote tissue regeneration
  • break down skin proteins
  • cause tissue tightening

A study 2020 concludes that the treatment is safe and effective for people with Fitzpatrick skin types 1 to 3. A 2017 review suggests patch testing for those with Fitzpatrick skin types 4 and above.

Evidence suggests that plasma fibroblast therapy can firm the skin in a number of areas, including:

  • Face
  • neck
  • arm
  • boobs
  • stomach
  • buttocks
  • thighs
  • knees

The authors of a 2017 paper note that plasma application may have many potential uses in dermatology. However, more research is needed to investigate the safety and effectiveness of this therapy.

Similar to other non-surgical, energy-based skin-tightening procedures, such as intense pulsed light, a microcurrent facial, and a high-intensity focused ultrasound facial, Plasma fibroblasts should be regulated by medical board decision and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

Although initial research may be promising, FDA warns that this therapy does not yet have clearance or approval for any cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of the skin.

There are reports of serious and life-threatening adverse events, which may include:

  • second and third degree burns
  • infection
  • skin color change
  • healing
  • nerve damage
  • heavy bleeding
  • accumulation of air or gas under the skin, in body cavities, or in blood vessels

A Case Report 2020 found that in addition to possible complications from the plasma device, a person can also suffer chemical injury from the use of local anesthetics during the procedure.

This treatment may not be suitable for some people, including:

  • pregnant women
  • breastfeeding people
  • people using isotretinoin, a drug that doctors prescribe to treat severe acne
  • people with a systemic disease, which affects the whole body
  • an infected person at the treatment site
  • people with open wounds
  • people living with body dysmorphia
  • immunosuppressed people
  • people with autoimmune diseases
  • people who tend to scar

A person considering treatment should consult a medical professional for more information.

It is not advisable for a person to perform this treatment at home.

Only a licensed and trained professional should perform this therapy in an appropriate, sterile location. Attempting this home treatment can significantly increase the risk of adverse effects.

This non-surgical therapy uses a small plasma discharge, or arc, to create a small wound in the skin. After numbing the area, a trained professional creates a symmetrical grid over the treatment area to encourage fibroblast activity and tighten the skin.

A 2017 study investigated the use of plasma as a non-surgical option to tighten the skin around the eyelid. After cleaning the eyelid, a person applies a numbing cream. After disinfection, an operator uses a plasma pen device on the target area.

The device allows precise delivery of plasma arcs, which the operator distributes evenly over the eyelid. The person then receives instructions for post-treatment care.

After plasma fibroblast therapy, a clinician will provide a person with guidelines for follow-up.

Usually the healing period lasts a few days up to 1 week. However, some people may take longer to recover.

If a person needs more than one treatment, they will need to wait a few weeks between appointments.

Post-treatment care usually involves gently cleaning the treatment area with unscented soaps, disinfectants, and moisturizers. A person will also need to avoid sun exposure, scab picking, and makeup. They may wish to take anti-inflammatory medications to help reduce swelling.

The cost of plasma fibroblast therapy will likely depend on many factors, such as who is performing the treatment, as well as the area, including its size, that the therapy is targeting.

The Aesthetic Society notes that skin tightening procedures can cost around $760. In contrast, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that the average cost of non-surgical skin tightening is $2,456.

However, plasma fibroblast therapy is likely to be less expensive and a single session can cost up to $500.

A person can discuss prices with the professional providing the treatment, including how many sessions they may need and whether the fee covers all costs, such as those for numbing creams.

Individuals may consider searching the following websites for a reputable medical professional:

Plasma fibroblast therapy is a non-surgical treatment that can help improve the appearance of the skin. The procedure uses plasma to create small wounds, which encourage fibroblast activity to tighten the skin.

It is a less invasive option than other cosmetic procedures and can allow faster healing times and a quicker return to normal activities. However, more research is still needed to investigate this treatment.

Plasma fibroblast therapy is a newer technique and therefore there is little information about its safety and effectiveness. Currently, the FDA has not cleared any aesthetic skin procedures for treatment.

A person should consider discussing treatment with a medical professional.

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