Long-Term Healing after Plasma Upper Eyelid Lift High-Intensity Treatments.
There are two healing phases in localised skin tightening using electrical Plasma:
- Short-term healing
- Long-term healing
- The intensity of the treatment (remember that the treatment intensity is dependant on a number of factors, and not only the power setting of the device). In particular the longer the duration of the arc the deeper the heat will be propagated inside the skin. The closer together the spots the more intense the heat. Generally, the higher the intensity of the treatment the more intense is the redness after the procedure and the longer it takes for the long-term healing to be over.
- The duration of the long-term healing is also dependent on the individual skin recovery ability.
While the short-term healing process can be easily explained by comparing it to the effects of skin burns and small injuries, the long-term healing process has to refer to something slightly different. We relate the long-term healing process to the all familiar topic of skin regeneration after mole removal or minor skin wounds recovery process soon after the scabs have fallen off. After the scabs have fallen off following plasma aesthetic treatments or minor skin injuries, the new skin is usually red and has a different texture to the rest of the skin. The area can also be itchy and tender for a while. Also, the long-term skin recovery process is similar to that which occurs after deep skin cosmetic peels. Like in skin peels the deeper the peel penetration the longer the redness after the treatment, however generally the long-term skin recovery period after plasma treatments take longer. While a peel long-term recovery can last up to three weeks (with a feeling of tenderness and dryness of the skin) the redness and tenderness and dryness can last up to 3 months, this is normal and to be expected after plasma high-intensity treatments. While the skin is still red and tender it is still being regenerated and remodelled. In order to understand what it is happening during the long-term healing, we will take the mole removal example. When the new skin regenerates it is of a different red/pink colour and it lacks pigmentation. Also, the texture is different.Over time the skin texture and colour will return to normal and it will be difficult to tell any treatment was carried out at all. After mole removal, the scabbing takes place. Once the scab has fallen off the area will be red and have a noticeably different skin texture to the surrounding skin. This is because the new skin has formed instead of the old skin lesion. When the new skin forms it is usually a vivid colour and it also has a noticeably different skin texture. The difference in colour between the treated area and the surrounding skin will slowly fade away over the following weeks. Similarly, the new skin texture will blend with the surrounding skin over the course of the following weeks.
In a similar fashion to mole removal, after localised skin tightening treatments (including plasma upper eyelid lift), the new skin will be red after the scabs have fallen off. The same applies to localised skin tightening using electrical plasma. Once the scabs have fallen off the area has an intense red colour like the one seen in mole removal. Additionally, in case of localised skin tightening, the skin will tend to regenerate due to the thermal stimulation caused by the burn inflicted by the electrical arc. Therefore the redness (inflammation) is caused by two factors:
- the new skin being regenerated after the minor injury caused by the electrical arc and
- the heat stimulation caused by the treatment.
Tenderness and redness should not be cause for concern, because it is a normal part of the long-term recovery process. It will eventually subside on its own accord without leaving a trace as long as no exposure to intense UV light has taken place.The following applies to high-intensity treatments without the use of any soothing or healing products:
- Itchiness. The initial feeling is of itchiness, this starts during the scabbing process and continues soon after the scabs have fallen off. It usually lasts approximately 7 to 10 days after the scabs have fallen off.
- Tenderness. While the itchy feeling subsides slowly, it is replaced by a feeling of tenderness. The degree of tenderness and its duration is dependent on the treatment intensity. The end of the long-term healing process is marked by the end of the feeling of tenderness.
- Dryness. This feeling can occur as soon as the scabs have fallen off and it can last all throughout the long-term healing period.
- A stinging feeling is also common all throughout the long-term healing when applying creams, sunscreen and cosmetics.
An important aspect of the long-term healing process is the skin re-modelling. There is usually a clear change in the skin structure immediately after the scabs have fallen off. However the change at that point is evident but not permanent, the skin structure will change over the course of the long-term healing while the skin feels still tender. The following pictures are a demonstration of the re-modelling happening over the course of a few hours after the scabs have fallen off.After the scabs have fallen off (during the long-term healing) the change becomes significant and relatively rapid. In the picture below you can see the difference (in terms of tightening) a few hours later. However, the area is still red. The area will be still subject to change over the course of the long-term healing. Once the tenderness is over the results can be regarded as virtually permanent. Please bear in mind that the skin is a live organ and subject to change over the long-term, therefore, however, slow the skin will change over the long period even after the long-term healing process is over. Once the desired results are achieved, the treatment can be repeated when required, usually several years later.
Skin laxity is a temporary adverse reaction to plasma eyelid tightening treatment. Please note that in all cases examined so far, skin laxity has been a transient effect only observed during the long-term healing process while the area was still very tender. This transient effect has been observed only after high-intensity treatments.If skin laxity occurs, it starts to take place a few days after the scabs have fallen off on their own accord. In any case, even if the laxity is taking place the skin tightening will still occur in the long-term. Skin laxity has subsided in all cases observed. The skin laxity subsides over time as the long-term tightening takes place. Whenever observed, skin laxity has subsided within three months after the plasma upper eyelid lift treatment. Please note that the skin laxity may not take place in most cases of low/medium intensity plasma treatments. Therefore, because high-intensity plasma treatments lead to:
- Extended periods of redness
- Extended periods of tenderness
- Skin laxity
In all cases observed the redness and tenderness always subsided, hence these symptoms are all transient. To date, no case of chronic tenderness or redness has been reported despite the several thousands of high-intensity treatments performed the world over. Additionally, in case of high-intensity treatments, the temporary laxity is not a cause for concern as it is also transient. The skin remodelling lasts as long as the area is still tender (long-term healing). Once the tenderness subsides the skin remodelling is over. This is when the results become representative. Also, another problem reported is the presence of small atrophic red spots (sometimes lasting a number of months) where the voltaic plasma was applied. They are most likely caused by the use of makeup during the short-term healing process. All the effects discussed here are transient, however, hyperpigmentation is the only undesired effect which may become permanent, despite that, it can be easily removed by using certain other aesthetic products.