Plasma Pen / Fibroblasting

Plasma Pen or Fibroblasting is a common procedure performed by aestheticians & beauticians as part of a skin rejuvenation, tightening, collagen induction & anti-wrinkle procedure. Frequently used to treat smoker’s lines, eye wrinkles & jowls, side effects are common, benefits are limited.

Key Points

  • Fibroblasting & Plasma Pens are marketed to reduce wrinkles & tighten skin
  • Side effects are high, gains are low
  • This procedure produces uncontrolled heating of the skin’s surface
  • Heat stimulates fibroblasts 
  • Fibroblasts lay down collagen to help reduce fine lines & wrinkles
  • Too much collagen results in scarring
  • Plasma Pen is great for genital warts & skin tags
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Plasma Pen / Fibroblasting at a glance

For: Perianal & genital warts, skin tags, wrinkles, skin laxity
Procedure time: 5- 30 minutes
Duration of results: Variable 
Back to work: Variable 
Recovery: If you are lucky
Anaesthetic: If you are lucky
Your specialist: Google
How much: $$$$ To fix problems

Our results speak for themselves

FAQs

What are the theoretical benefits of Plasma Pen?

The Plasma Pen is a device used to perform fibroblast therapy; a technique used to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin. This in can, in theory –

 

 

  • Treat skin tags (great for multiple tags)
  • Treat warts (best for this, esp. genital warts)
  • Provide skin tightening, reducing skin laxity
  • Provide wrinkle reduction
  • Treats enlarged pores (often widens)

What are the common side effects of Plasma Pen?

Side effects occur with any procedures. Plasma Pen side effects are extraordinarily high. They include –

 

 

  • Post treatment redness; often persists more than 6 months 
  • Post treatment darkening; takes 3-4 years to fade
  • Gridding: universally seen
  • Atrophic depressed scars; can be permanent

What is the true value of a Plasma Pen?

Plasma is an excellent treatment for warts & skin tags. This pen cost $60 to 120 USD to purchase online. Your provider does not need a degree, in fact he or she does not need a laser licence. All they need is an AMAZON or eBay account.

 

Plasma is a great treatment for skin tags. Used with caution, it can also treat warts including genital & perianal warts. It does have some merit as the collateral damage to the surrounding anal skin is less than with cryotherapy. Discuss these applications with your provider. 

How to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation after a plasma pen mishap?

The fastest way to treat PIH from plasma pen is to-

 

 

  1. Sun protection with a SPF 50+ sunscreen three times a day.
  2. Add tyrosinase inhibitors to reduce PIH & pigment output
  3. Start on pico lasers
  4. Consider small beam lasers if Pico is not available

 

Get your provider to speak to a dermatologist as we can fast track your treatments. 

If your provider will not pay for treatments, ask them to call the dermatology or plastic surgery department at the Royal Brisbane, Mater or Greenslopes hospital & ask to speak to a registrar. 

 

Our dermatologists hold hospital positions &, in dire situations can fast track you through the public hospital system. 

How to treat atrophic scarring post plasma pen?

Atrophic or depressed scars after plasma pen fibroblasting is common. It is due to-

 

  • Long ‘pulse’ or dwell time in one specific spot
  • Too much energy
  • Adequate energy in the wrong area/s eg. neck
  • Operator error
  • Idiosyncratic reactions


This form of scarring is more challenging to rectify. We use small spot lasers to stimulate collagen over a period of 4-6 months. We employ- CO2 lasers, thulium, diode, fractional pico, full beam pico, Tixel mechcanico-thermal delivery, vascular lasers & an array of non-ablative lasers to correct this form of scarring.

How to treat prolonged redness after plasma pen gone wrong?

Fortunately, redness is somewhat easy to treat. We employ one of several vascular lasers, including the Prima, Perfecta, Sciton or the DermaV. As a guide-

 

 

  • One session every 2-4 weeks
  • Average number of treatments 4.3
  • Downtime; mild bruising for 2-4 days
  • Outcome; good to excellent. But it can take 4-8 months

 

If you suffer redness post plasma pen, get your GP or your therapist to speak to our dermatologists for prompt treatment.

How does Plasma Pen work?

Plasma Pen converts electrical energy into nitrogen. It transmits energized gas to the skin.

This causes a burn to the skin’s epidermal layer (top layers) whilst simultaneously delivering controlled heating & disrupting the deeper dermal structure via thermal conduction. 

This treatment is also known as fibroblasting. Fibroblasts are the most common cells of connective tissue in the body that produce collagen. Too much collagen & the skin scars. Hence why Plasma Pen is so great at producing skin scars.

How to get legal advice after Plasma Pen mishaps?

Dermatologists can provide a legal report based upon specific questions. The best avenue is to seek legal advice. A no win no fee lawyer is the most cost effective. 

 

If you are consented for the procedure, it is by no means watertight. We provide written advice to lawyers in the context of appropriate treatments. For example, if plasma pen was used for the treatment of viral warts, seborrheic warts & skin tags, then treatment was appropriate. 

 

If a plasma pen was used for wrinkles, skin tightening, & rejuvenation, then the procedure is not appropriate. The argument is not ‘if plasma pen can stimulate collagen’, hell no, it is the same argument as if sulfuric acid can help reduce wrinkles.  Yes, but…

 

The largest settlement we have heard to date is just over ½ million dollars awarded to a patient who had permanent scarring secondary to plasma pen performed by a licensed beautician. The fee to the dermatologist who was involved in the legal report? $240 for the consultation, & $340 for the in-depth legal report. The law firm pocketed just over 100k. Are we short-changed as a profession? No, but it is our duty. That’s the reason we did medicine in the first place.

What areas can be treated with Plasma?

Any area can be treated. Plasma is commonly used for-

 

 

  • Upper and lower eyelids 
  • Forehead lines
  • Jowl’s & jawline (higher incidence of scarring)
  • Crow’s feet around eyes and lines and wrinkles around the eyes
  • ‘Accordion’ & Marionette lines 
  • Nasolabial folds or smile lines – The folds that run from the sides of your nose down to the edge of your mouth.
  • The neck
  • Smoker’s lines
  • Stretchmarks

Products

Medik8 Physical Sunscreen SPF50+
$69.00

Dermaceutic All Things Pigment 21 Day Kit
$154.00

The Cosmelan Peel is one of the fastest methods to clear up superficial melasma, but comes with a one week downtime.

What home treatments are better than plasma pen?

DIY home treatments are far safer, & in most situations more effective than plasma pens. These include –

 

 

    • CIT or collagen induction therapy using a dermaroller, stamper or pen. Keep treatments less than 0.3 mm
  • Microcurrent devices
  • Skin care with retinol, retinoid, vitamin B, C & AHAs
  • Dermaplaning
  • LED masks

 

In fact, the plasma pen purchased by your provider cost 4 times less than a good microcurrent device.

How do specialists rejuvenate the eye area?

Not with fibrobasting plasma pens! We employ-

 

 

  • Soft tissue fillers for volumetric correction
  • Lasers to improve skin quality
  • Surgery to improve skin laxity
  • RF & HIFU to tighten eye wrinkles
  • Neuromodulators & relaxants for dynamic wrinkle
    Tixel Thermo-mechanical rejuvenation
  • Fat transfer for volume loss
  • Nano, pico & vascular lasers for changes in colour

Treatments are based upon specific anatomical changes, skin type, & cause…the answer is not plasma pen fibroblasting.

How do specialists rejuvenate the perioral or mouth area?

Not with fibrobalsting. Treatments are aimed at the cause/s of aging, including soft tissue volume loss, bone loss, dermal collagen depletion, elastosis, dynamic wrinkling & reduction of skin quality. 

 

Treatments include-

 

 

  • Fractional lasers
  • Ablative lasers
  • Deep peels
  • Dermal HA filler
  • Collagen stimulating fillers
  • Surgery including lip lifting
  • RF microneedling
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Prescription skin care

How do dermatologists & plastic surgeons treat skin laxity?

Not with plasma pen firbroblasting. We address age & exogenous laxity with –

 

 

  • Surgical techniques
  • HIFU & RF
  • Lasers
  • Deep peels
  • Skin care
  • Threads
  • Volumetric displacement with soft tissue fillers
  • Collagen stimulating fillers
  • Fat transfer & nanofat

Are we against aestheticians, beauty clinics & back yard operators performing plasma pen?

No, but we are tired & sorry for consumers/ clients (real name are patients) who have had adverse outcomes from plasma pens.

 

We are in the belief that whoever performs the procedure can deal with the side effects efficiently, safely & with integrity. Our aim is not to convert the clientele (patient cohort) to seek safer, more efficacious & more expensive treatments. Seriously, we do not need more patients, but what we do want is less patients with side effects from clinics. 

 

The rule of aesthetic medicine & cosmetics is this- ‘if you can perform the treatment, you should know how to deal with the side effects & adverse outcomes.’ If the provider cannot help the client (patient), they must take prompt action to seek professional help. If the provider is unwilling to do so, either cease the treatments indefinitely, or seek legal advice.

 

Dermatologists are not in the business of regulation, heck, we are so busy with sorting out our patients. Seriously, we do not need more adverse outcomes from plasma pens. In fact, most of us will go out of our way to assist clients (patients please) as this is what we are trained for, namely to safely, & efficiently sort out complex skin problems. 

What is the rationale behind the name of ‘plasma pen fibrobasting collagen stimulation’?

A fancy name tag optimises Google keywords, plus it adds a fancy name to a primitive device.

As with this article, the aim is to educate patients, not to generate more patients for dermatologists. In fact, the aim is the opposite- to make the consumer aware of mishaps & to reduce our case load of plasma pen gone wrong patients.

How to seek help for fibroblasting accidents gone wrong if you are unable to afford to see a dermatologist?

You have two sensible options-

 

 

  1. Seek help from a public hospital. Our dermatologists hold positions in public hospitals including the Royal Brisbane, Greenslopes & Mater Hospitals. If you do not have the funds for private treatment, we can fast-track you in the public system. 

 

 

  1. Engage a lawyer for a no-win-no-pay legal action. In some cases we can provide subsided treatments until you receive a payout for damages caused by plasma pen accidents.

What should you consider before undertaking plasma pen fibroblasting collagen induction therapy?

You should clarify with the provider-

 

 

  • The risks of the procedure: This includes potential scarring, pigmentation, & infection.

 

 

  • The predictable benefits of the procedure: Namely will it give a predictable outcome as described?

 

 

  • What happens if sh*t hits the fan? Who is liable, who pays, who to refer to? When to refer. As a guide, early treatment of scars gives better outcomes. 

 

 

  • Has the therapist got insurance cover if things go wrong? The very last thing we want is if legal action is undertaken, the provider loses their assets. 

Have you had an adverse reaction to plasma pens?

If so, consider reporting this event to-

 

 

  • The health ombudsman
  • A no win no fee lawyer
  • Your GP
  • APHRA

 

Dermatologists are not into dobbing people in, we are too busy fixing clinical problems.

Ask us more about this treatment

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