Low-Energy Treatment Best For Wrinkles?

Multiple low-energy treatments with a plasma skin regeneration tool may be an improvement over high-energy treatments for facial wrinkles.

A new study shows that multiple low-energy plasma skin regeneration treatments may have about the same wrinkle-reducing effect as one high-energy session — and with less healing time.

During plasma skin regeneration, energy from plasma rather than light or radiofrequency is delivered to skin tissues. The energy stimulates new skin growth in the targeted area and can be used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles or superficial skin lesions.

Researchers say previous studies have focused on using the technology in single, high-energy treatment, which can be effective but also take up to a week or more for healing.

The study, published in the Archives of Dermatology, looked at the effects of three full-face low-energy plasma skin regeneration treatments given to eight participants.

Three months after treatment, the results showed that the participants had 37 percent fewer wrinkles, as judged by the researchers. Overall, the volunteers reported a 68 percent improvement in facial appearance.

Researchers found new skin tissue had regrown over the treated area about four days after treatment, and patients said skin redness lasted about six days. No scarring or loss of pigment was reported.

When researchers examined the treated skin tissue under the microscope, they found a new band of collagen, the primary protein in skin, had formed in the inner layers of skin.

"The healing time in our study averaged approximately five days per treatment; however, this was a patient-assessed number that included days it took for any residual redness and peeling to completely resolve," writes researcher Melissa A. Bogle, M.D., of the Laser and Cosmetic Surgery Center of Houston, and colleagues. "While nearly a week of healing time may not seem to be an improvement over other minimally invasive resurfacing procedures and micropeels, the intensity of the healing process is quite minor, which makes it an attractive option for many patients."

SOURCE: Bogle, M. Archives of Dermatology, February 2007; Vol. 143: pp. 168-174.

By Jennifer Warner
Reviewed by Louise Chang, M.D