The basic principles of plasma skin tightening, why does it work ?
In this section we will explain the basics as why and how plasma skin tightening works for skin tightening and the physics that lead to its efficacy in skin tightening.
First of all, plasma skin tightening should not be referred to as skin shortening. This is because the physics of the procedure itself does not allow the skin to shorten as advertised by, several marketers. Skin shortening is only currently possible by using surgery. It is understandable how the desire for short term earnings from marketing hypes can appeal loads of companies the world over.
The way Fibroblast plasma works in terms of skin tightening is relatively simple and more simple than several marketers would like you to believe. Here you will see how simple it is and it is not rocket science.
Plasma skin tightening is based on the phenomenon of skin contraction after burns. As we know, and if you do not you can verify this information very easily on the internet, after burns the skin contracts. As you should know plasma or
“fibroblast” causes a controlled small burn into the skin. It is controlled because otherwise, the burn would cause a scar in the area where you applied the treatment. Hence the burn has to be calibrated well so that the effects of skin tightening of the burn take place but there is no scarring at the end of the treatment.
In severe cases of deep burns, the skin contraction is so severe that skin grafting becomes necessary.
(A) the skin contraction is so strong that it literally pulls down the mouth from one side. (B) immediately after the skin grafting operation. (C) After the area has healed from the skin grafting surgery.
In the image above we can see on A how the skin contraction causes the pulling of the mouth. On the right (c) we can see how after skin grafting the pulling effect is gone. This is because the natural effect of skin burning is the contraction of the skin itself. It could not be simpler.
In the Video Thumbnail picture below we can see the severe swelling of the upper eyelid after plasma upper eyelid tightening performed on Andreas Russo (the author).
With “fibroblast” all we are doing is inflicting a controlled skin burn. This is all. But we have to be careful not to cause any scarring. This is why plasma skin tightening works so well that some marketers have referred to it as skin shortening. But as you can see from our several case studies we have published this is not shortening but it is tightening. This is because in order to cause a shortening you would need to cause a burn so deep that a scar would be in most cases inevitable.
The physics of Fibroblast
All we are doing with the magic word “fibroblast” or “plasma” is injecting heat into the skin by simply using a small electrical spark. This is the most simplistic way to explain it. Some sparks may be different to others depending on the circuitry of each device and the frequency at the output of the device. What we mean by frequency is not power level but it is actual frequency. If you want to learn the definition of frequency this is simply the period inverted or 1/T, where T is the period. You do not need to even understand what the period is but to make it simple at the output of these devices you have a sinewave which has a certain frequency.
If you examine the output of one of these plasma devices on the market they pretty much have a certain output frequency. The output at the tip of their electrode is an oscillating Sine Wave similar to the one you see in the picture above. Depending on the frequency and the circuitry of the devices the effect on the skin may vary in terms of how deep the burn in penetrating inside the skin and its effects on the skin.
Distance between the spots and treatment intensity.
The spot operation is the fundamental technique used in plasma skin tightening.
Right hand side you can see the classic spot mode or spot operation applied between the wrinkles as it should. Never apply the spots inside the wrinkles.
Now we assume that the spark which the device we are using is producing an injury in the right way not to leave any scar. In the right hand side picture we can see the illustration of an electrical arc onto the skin.
As you can see in the picture the spark produces a carbonisation of the epidermis.Also besides the carbonisation of the skin, given the high temperature at the point of contact between the skin and the arc, there is heat propagation into the skin.
One of the claims made by heavy weight marketers in the early 2010s (who have now disappeared from the UK market) was that their device had magic power of only delivering heat on to the carbonised area without affecting other areas of the dermis beneath it. These claims, although made with financial motivated scientific rigor, was of course revealed to be false. This is yet another reminder that any so called “Scientific Studies” or “Papers” will demonstrate whatever the company will want you to believe.
So if you are a doctor obsessed with scientific “papers based evidence” please note that the results of any scientific paper will demonstrate whatever the company who funds the study wants you to believe. This is especially true if there is a brand name in the so called “scientific paper” or “study”. This is simply because doctors want to have scientific evidence and all the marketing companies have to do to sell you a device at a high price is to produce the so called “scientific evidence” which always demonstrates whatever the original manufacturer wants you to believe.
Over the years we have seen plenty of claims made by maketers of supposedly “unique” features which then disappeared from the horizon.
In the figure below we simply show the temperature distribution in the skin when an electrical arc is applied onto the skin.
The carbonisation effect on the skin due to electrical arcing is a very well known phenomenon, it is nothing new. It is also known that electrical arcing produces different gradients of temperatures from the carbonisation surface (different temperature distribution as shown in the above figure) and hence irradiates heat into the skin.
In the picture right hand we have the representation of two separate sparks side by side at a certain distance between one another. This is to explain the heat propagation inside the skin from two carbonisation sources.
In the picture below we are depicting this concept with a different picture. As you can see in the circled area the skin is subjected to the heat produced by the arc twice.
In the picture below at point X the total heat felt by that point is the sum of the heat emanated by source 1 on the left and the also source 2 on the right. Therefore the total heat at the poiit x is x1+x2
As a consequence if we place the arc 1 and arc 2 closer together the heat felt at point x will be higher of course. Conversely if we increase the distance between the two arcs 1 and 2 at point x the heat will be lower, of course.
This is why the distance between the spots is so important in determining the intensity of the treatment. The closer the spots are together the higher the intensity of the treatment because the higher the quantity of heat injected into the skin. Conversely the further apart the spots are the less intense the treatment . This is why the distance between the spots is a major determining factor of the treatment intensity using electrical arcing.
Arc Duration and Treatment Intensity
Lets assume for talk sake that the left most picture depicts the arc been operated on the skin for half a second. In the middle picture for a 1 second and in the right most picture for 3 seconds. Obviously the longer the arc is applied onto the skin for the higher the ablation effect and more heat is injected into the skin. As seen in the left most picture the carbonisation and the ablation of the skin is very shallow compared to the ablation of the carbonisation while the arc is applied for longer
Hence also the longer you apply the arc, while keeping the power of the device the same, the deeper the ablation and also the deeper the heat penetrates into the skin. As you have seen in the section how to get familiarised with electrical arcing device the longer you keep the arc on the deeper the ablation and also the deeper the heat penetrates into the skin.
In conclusion the longer the duration of the arc the higher the intensity of the treatment due to the higher amount of heat injected into the skin.