Plasma treatment is performed only by doctors and consists of multiple shots spaced closely together fired by a hand-held device called a PLEXR. The treatment often referred to as “soft surgery” can be used in many circumstances but the most commonly recognised treatment is that of the upper eye lids. This procedure using plasma replaces the need for a surgical blepharoplasty and can be used not only on the upper eye lid, but also the lower eye lid. The procedure normally takes between 30 and 90 minutes to perform, depending on the area to be treated. Results are seen instantly although the best appearance is seen after 3 weeks.
3 treatments at 6 weekly intervals are often required to give the results similar to a surgical procedure.
What conditions can be treated with PLEXR?
PLEXR can be used to remove skin lesions, excess skin and for the reduction of lines and wrinkles by tissue sublimation without cutting. It can be used for the following:
- Non-surgical blepharoplasty
- Skin lesions such as fibromas, warts, papillomas and xanthelasma
- Scarring including stretch marks, acne scars and post-surgical scars
- Pigmentation and sun spots
- Tattoo removal
How does the treatment work?
PLEXR causes sublimation which is the process of turning a solid straight into a gas. Results are instant but further improvement is evident over time. As there is no heat transferred to surrounding tissues there is no damage to normal skin. PLEXR uses plasma so there is no electric current which can cause problems for some patients.
Does the procedure hurt?
Local anaesthetic cream is applied for 30 minutes prior to non-surgical blepharoplasty to minimise any discomfort and the procedure is then virtually painless. You may experience a sensation of heat in some sensitive areas and you post treatment experience a tingling sensation.
What are the after effects?
Following PLEXR treatment, tiny dark brown/black spots are evident classically after treating the eye lids or there may be an appearance more typical of a burn in areas where a lesion has been ablated (removed). The area will often be red and warm immediately after the procedure and can be quite tender for a few days. Patients may experience a tingling or burning sensation. Swelling is common and can be quite significant around the eyes and is often most marked the next morning and can persist for several days you may notice interference to your vision.
The tiny dark brown spots flake off over the following days (up to 2 weeks) and burns will heal within a similar period. A scab can develop and it is important to keep this clean, dry and protected. Sometimes the area can be sloughy. If the area becomes red, hot and tender or if there is pus present, it is important to contact us at the clinic as this may suggest an infection. It is important to allow any spots or scabs to fall off naturally (this may take up to 2 weeks) otherwise scarring or infection may occur. As the treated skin is sublimated, the results often last years or permanently.
Final results depend on severity of skin laxity or size of lesion, the desired result, the general condition of the skin and any pre-existing skin or medical problems. Reduction in skin folds and creases appear immediately.
Is there after care advice?
After treatment we advise keeping the treated area clean, dry and protected using a broad spectrum sunscreen. Mineral make-up may be applied. Avoid exposing the area to extremes of heat or cold until it has completely healed.
If I have side effects what should I do?
Cold compresses may be applied to reduce the swelling. If the swelling is more severe, an anti-inflammatory medication and/or anti-histamine may help alleviate the swelling.
Crusting will usually develop over the treated area, this will often initially be brown or black on the surface of the skin and flake off over the following days. It may take over 2 weeks to completely disappear. It is essential to not pick at this crusting as this may lead to infection or scarring.
The treated area may become a little weepy, this is part of the normal healing process and will improve with time, but if it starts to become hot or red or if there is any pus present, this may suggest an infection has developed and you should call us at the clinic so we can assess your condition and treat appropriately, possibly with antibiotics.
What after care is required?
It is essential to keep the treatment area clean, dry and protected with a broad spectrum sunscreen. Do not use alcohol based cleansers. Do not apply a plaster or an occlusive dressing over the area. Often more than one treatment is needed for optimum results. There should be at least six weeks before any further PLEXR in the same area.
Before treatment can commence, we would need to invite you in for a free consultation with our doctors.