FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
What is Fibroblast Skin Tightening?
Fibroblast skin tightening is a highly versatile and non-surgical procedure that is stunningly effective in skin tightening and rejuvenation. 'Fibroblasting' revolutionizes the treatment, repair, lifting and rejuvenation of any area of the skin by improving and brightening skin tone, laxity and texture.
It also significantly tightens loose skin and dramatically reduce, inflate and plump lines and wrinkles by drastically inducing collagen production and remodeling.
How Does It Work?
Under our highly trained aesthetic provider, we use the most advanced state of the art Plasma Pen to generate and discharge flashes of plasma arc to induce disruption to the skin's epidermal layer, causing it to contract and tighten immediately.
This micro-trauma stimulates new collagen (neocollagenesis) and helps release and activate essential proteins and growth factors like cytokines and fibroblasts, which makes more collagen than before it was disrupted. Eventually, excess skin dries off to form tiny crusts that fall off like dandruff in just a few days. New collagen is formed over a period of up to 6 months.
Is the Plasma Pen safe?
Our Plasma pen delivers pure plasma arc, not an electric arc like so many others on the market. This enables the treatment imprint to be wider, and shallower than traditional thermal only devices. The benefits of which are a greater tightening effect allowing for better results, a quicker healing process and less down time to the client. The Plasma Pen can be used on most skin types, however, your practitioner will assess your skin and offer a test patch prior to treatment.
What is the difference between an electric arc vs plasma arc?
From Dr. Mark Iwanicki:
What is it used to treat?
The Plasma Pen is able to treat a number of imperfections without any actual cutting of the skin. It can be used for:
• Eyelid Tightening, including lower eyelids and excess upper eyelid skin.
• Skin imperfections, including skin tags and sunspots.
• Improvement in the appearance of acne scars
• Diminishing Stretch marks.
• Tightening loose stomach skin after pregnancy.
• Lines and wrinkles around the mouth.
• Plasma Facelift and Plasma Necklift.
Does it hurt?
The treatment can be uncomfortable, and really depends on your pain threshold. For a comfortable experience we recommend attending your appointment on time to allow the topical anaesthetic application to have the required time to absorb and take effect in the areas you would like to have treated. The topical anaesthetic is applied for 30 mins for the best effect.
What is involved with the treatment?
Your practitioner will apply topical anaesthetic to the skin’s surface for 30 mins prior to the treatment, the cream will be removed and the treatment using a small, hand help pen shaped device will apply the treatment. A 60 min appointment is allocated to allow you to relax and receive your after care advice prior to leaving the clinic.
How long will it be before I see results?
An immediate tightening will be seen with the plasma pen and dermal fillers. Once healing has taken place you will see an improvement in skin condition and tone.
Collagen production and skin tightening gets progressively better over 10-24 weeks and continues to improve up to a year later.
How long does it last?
Once collagen is formed, the natural ageing process of breaking down the collagen will then take place. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors can contribute to the collagen breakdown such as UV exposure and smoking. However, depending on the amount of sagging skin, sometimes it may require more than a single session.
How many treatments will I need?
This is a single treatment, but depending on the skin laxity, more than one treatment may be required.
How will my skin look?
The skin will have multiple millimetre trauma marks to the skin’s surface, and as healing occurs the skin will appear dry and flaky. In the first couple of days, redness and swelling will be present. Every individual will vary, others may have more swelling, whereas some may swell for over a week. Pigmentation from the small marks can be present for longer if the scabs come away earlier than expected, for example when lying on one side of the face whilst sleeping.
What are the side effects and risks involved?
Tenderness, redness and swelling are common side effects and are to be expected following the treatment. As the skin starts to heal, itching may occur. After care gel that is included in the price of the treatment, should be used to alleviate the side effects. Other side effects are not limited to, but may include slight redness for a few weeks after the treatment, with a risk of scarring, infection and hyperpigmentation (darker skin) or hypopigmentation (lighter skin), being rare but possible.
Are there any specific after care tips?
You will be required to stay out of direct sun light during the healing process. Whilst the scabs are still present you won’t be able to get the areas wet such as having a shower, steam room, swimming or sweating from exercising.
How do I prepare for the procedure?
It is important to have a test patch prior to the treatment. No active sun exposure is important with no active tan being present for the test patch and treatment. We suggest not to apply any cosmetics beforehand, and you should let us know about any recent medical conditions and medications taken.
Is there anything I should do after the treatment?
We advise that you don’t take a hot shower on the day of the treatment, and to keep the area dry for the duration of the scabs being present. It is advised that you don’t apply make-up to the area for the duration of the scabs, as attempting to remove the makeup at the end of the day, can cause the microscabs to come away from the skin too early and cause scarring. Sun exposure should be avoided for 4 weeks after the treatment, sunblock application is highly recommended for 4 to 6 weeks after the initial treatment.
What are the contraindications to having the treatment?
Reasons you may not be suitable for the treatment are due to the following. In which case, we would ask for a specialist’s letter stating that they are happy for you to proceed with the treatment, where applicable:
• Metal plates or pins
• Severe circulatory deficiencies inc. ischemic tissue, thrombosis, severe uncontrolled blood pressure
• Severe Cardiovascular conditions
• Current or recent haemorrhage
• Malignancy and chemotherapy in the past 3 years.
• This treatment is only recommended on light-medium skin tones . Anyone with a darker complexion is at risk for hyperpigmentation.
• You must not display Herpes Simplex Virus (Cold sores/Fever blisters). You must reschedule your appointment if you are experiencing an outbreak. If they have experienced Herpes Simplex Virus (cold sores/fever blisters) in the past you must see your Medical Doctor and obtain a prescription for Valtrex and begin taking it 3 days before treatment and for 4 days following treatment.
• We need to be cautious with certain illnesses, our nurse will confirm your full medical history prior to commencing any treatments.
How long does the treatment take?
Treatment time is dependent on the size of the site. In general, the treatment takes less than 30 mins, however, we allow 60mins per treatment to ensure that you’re happy with the treatment choice and to ensure you’re happy to proceed. The skin is treated and an after care cream is applied.
Are the results after the treatment permanent?
Treatment results generally last up to 3 years and in some cases remain permanent. Once new collagen is stimulated, new collagen is formed. It does NOT however, stop the ageing process, therefore natural ageing and collagen breakdown will occur. You can help reduce the natural ageing by protecting the skin from further UVA rays and external environmental damage.
What are the advantages over surgery?
• No cutting of the skin
• Very low risk procedure
• No stitches
• There is no thinning of the skin
• No general anaesthetic
• Far less recovery time
• Significantly lower cost
• Quick and easy treatment
After Care DO'S and DON'TS
NOTE: On top of the immediate rejuvenation, lifting and tightening effects you will likely experience from Plasma Pen, it takes 8 to 12 weeks for the full effects of your treatment to be seen.
NOTE: If additional treatments are required, it will be necessary to wait until the skin completely heals (12 weeks).
• Ice the treated area (use a clean tea towel to cover the ice pack) alternating 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off, for up to one hour for the first 2 days.
• Drink at least a liter of water daily.
• Take 2,000 mg of Vitamin C daily. Take 500 mg, 4 times per day.
• Eat whole fresh food daily and avoid excess sugar for maximum results.
• Keep the treated area clean using a mild unscented glycerin or Dove unscented soap twice a day (morning and night) Gently splash the area with cool water and very gently clean with soap and rinse very thoroughly. Use very mild gentle pressure to clean skin.
• Gently apply your aftercare product (using only clean hands) to the treated area as needed to relieve pain/itching each day until your scabs fall off on their own.
IMPORTANT!!! Allow the scabs to come off on their own. This will ensure the best possible healed result and avoid scarring and infection.
• Be patient with the process and allow yourself time to rest and heal.
• Avoid sun exposure and tanning beds – Once the scabbing/peeling process is complete, always apply a broad spectrum sunblock to the treated area for a minimum of 3 months after your last treatment. The skin is still healing and can easily become damaged by the UV rays causing hyperpigmentation.
• Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol.
• Do not pick the scabs. Let them fall off by themselves or you risk scarring
• Do not apply any make-up (even mineral) for the first 4 days or until the scabbing or peeling is complete (about 7-10 days).
• Do not apply any plasters (liquid bandaid) on the treated areas as doing so can delay the natural healing process.
• Do not work out, swim, get in a hot tub or steam bath (avoid sweating and soaking scabs).
Stages of Healing
Swelling is to be expected after this type of treatment. This is due to the fact that the area will be recovering from a deliberate controlled wound, therefore the natural side effect is swelling. There are steps you can take to minimize the swelling but it cannot be avoided. You can’t avoid or cure the swelling – it is a response to the trauma. The swelling will subside in a matter of days.
STAGES OF HEALING
Day 1: Try to lay propped up with pillows. Do not lay completely horizontal. Weeping from the treated area is normal as well as some pain and discomfort. The swelling will likely be worse in the mornings and lessen towards the evening. You may find it difficult to open your eyes in the morning following the treatment however, it will subside throughout the day. It will feel like a bad sunburn.
Day 2: The swelling typically peaks by day 2 to 3. Do not be surprised if the swelling is worse on the 2nd day. Remember: swelling is worse in the mornings and lessens throughout the day. Swelling can also spread to the neighboring areas, DON’T PANIC this is perfectly normal. The upper and lower eye are all connected therefore the fluids from the upper eye will drain to the lower eye area. This too shall pass. Discomfort and pain are still present and to be expected on the second day.
Day 3: You will notice an improvement in the swelling and the “dots” will start to crust/scab over. The scabs must not be picked, allow them to fall off on their own. Your level of discomfort will have subsided dramatically. Minimal pain expected for the 3rd day. For those who experienced the under eye swelling, this will still be present.
Day 4: Some mild residual swelling may still be present on the upper eyelids. No more pain or discomfort should be felt.
Day 5: Swelling should be complete and scabs may still be present. The under eye swelling should be almost completely resolved by this point if not gone.
Day 7-10: Scabs will continue to fall off. Continue to apply silver collodial gel with aloe vera, let that settle first, then apply sunscreen religiously.
When can you resume their regular AHA skin cleansing this would include cleaners, creams and serums containing acids such as salicylic, glycolic, lactic, etc.) routine?
It is safe for them to reintroduce these types of products at the 8 week post treatment mark.
Pre + Post Care
PRE-CARE (Before Your Treatment)
1. Avoid any kind of tanning (Spray tanning, tanning injections, sun tanning and tanning beds) for 2 to 4 weeks before your treatment. Ideally, you should try to use SPF5O to prep your skin for 2 to 4 weeks before your treatment, especially if you are naturally darker skinned.
**You may even wish to consider using a natural Tyrosinase Inhibitor to helps ensure there is no overproduction of pigment in the skin aka hyperpigmentation.**
2. Avoid any other type of procedures on the same area which you intend to have treated with Plasma Pen, such as laser therapy, chemical peels, Botox, fillers, as this may prevent your treatment being performed by your technician at the time you want it.
• No facial acids (Retin A, salicylic, glycolic) 14 days before or 21 days after Plasma Pen.
• No Botox or fillers 21 days before or after Plasma Pen.
• No Micro needling/PRP 21 days before or after Plasma Pen.
• No laser or peels (depending on intensity of peel) for 90 days before or after Plasma Pen.
• Surgical procedures like face lifts you must wait at least 9 months postop/before Plasma Pen.
POST-CARE: IMMEDIATELY AFTER TREATMENT
1. You may experience a “stinging” sensation in the treated area(s) immediately after treatment. This is normal and it generally only lasts for about an hour.
2. If the treated area is swollen, you may apply ice packs covered with a clean cloth. Do NOT apply ice directly onto the skin, as this can cause damage to the tissue. Avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or steroids if possible.
3. If you are receiving a Plasma Pen treatment anywhere on your face or neck, we recommend you sleep on your back with your head elevated to reduce swelling.
4. Do NOT cleanse the treated area until the following day.
5. Do NOT exercise 48 hours after treatment or expose yourself to any heat, steam or sweat because this can intensify the inflammation that’s already present.
6. Your technician will provide you with after care products and instructions. You must follow the provided aftercare protocol to expedite the healing process and avoid complications.
7. The area that has been treated must NOT be covered with occlusive dressing or any type of sunblock, make-up, mascara, creams or any other products until the area has fully healed. Many ingredients in skin care products and cosmetics can irritate skin and cause allergic reactions. Ultimately this will slow you’re your healing process and possibly impede desired results.
8. It is highly unlikely you will ever get an infection from a Plasma Pen treatment, as the wound we cause is not open. However, the first 12 hours post-treatment is vital in protecting you from any potential infection, so please avoid any activities where you could expose yourself to contaminants. Keeping hands off of anything that comes in contact with the treatment area.
9. You may return to work the following day. However, you will not look your absolute best during the initial healing process (approximately 7 days).
10. Expect redness, swelling and inflammation for the first 1 to 5 days post-treatment. This is normal but will usually be of a very minor nature.
POST-CARE: DAYS FOLLOWING TREATMENT
Keep the area clean to avoid infections until the scabs have formed and exfoliated on their own. Follow the aftercare instructions exactly as written to ensure the best possible healed outcome.
1. It is normal for the area that has been treated to be red/pink, swollen and feel tight and dry. Occasional weeping is normal and will settle.
2. Tiny crusts will quickly form on the treated area. These may be visible for up to about a week.
3. Do NOT pick crusts off as this will delay the healing process and could cause hyperpigmentation and scarring.
4. The area(s) treated may be cleansed daily with room temperature water and your fingers. Avoid using washcloths or any other washing devices. You are only removing excess oil and do not need to thoroughly cleanse the treated skin. Do NOT be tempted to rub, brush or exfoliate the area in any way to aid in the removal of the crusts. Pat dry with a clean tissue.
5. Do NOT stand with your face under a hot shower for the first 3-4 days. This could increase swelling. Try to avoid shower gels or hair products running on to your face as this could cause irritation and inflammation. Rinse thoroughly with tepid water if products do come into contact with the area(s) treated and gently pat dry.
6. Avoid swimming or chlorinated water as it can increase irritation.
7. Keep scabs/crusts moist by applying provided aftercare three times a day – but only in small amounts, do not soak the area.
8. Men should avoid shaving the treated area until it is fully healed (around 7 days).
9. If you have had treatment around your eyes, you should avoid wearing contact lenses for 72 hours after your treatment.
10. Once the scabs have fallen off (approximately 7 days), your skin may be a little pink. You may begin to apply your normal foundation/make-up/sunblock but avoid using skincare products containing glycolic/salicylic/retinoic/AHA/ scrubs/Clarisonic or any other active exfoliating ingredients/devices for at least 21 days, as this will cause irritation.
ABSOLUTELY NO MAKEUP UNTIL SCABS HAVE FALLEN OFF.
11. Avoid sun exposure. Once the scabs have fallen off, you must wear a physical sunblock (zinc & titanium) and a hat while your skin is in the healing stages (pink in color) and you should continue to do so for at least the next 12 weeks to avoid hyperpigmentation.
12. Do NOT sunbath/sun tanning beds for 10–12 week post procedure.
13. Do NOT have any other facial treatments in the same treatment area while your skin is healing (12 weeks).
14. Do NOT wax treatment area for at least 21 days, if not longer. If you are receiving Plasma Pen treatment anywhere around the eyes, I would wait the full 12 weeks. It will be ok to tweeze or thread any unwanted hairs after scabs have fallen off the area.