Woman with loose abdominal skin

Skin can lose laxity over time due to aging and factors like weight loss and pregnancy. Loose skin is a common cause of insecurity and is difficult to correct without medical intervention. Surgical procedures like a tummy tuck or full-body lift can help tighten skin but often come with a lengthy recovery period. For those seeking a noninvasive means to tighten skin, plasma skin tightening can help. 

Plasma skin tightening – sometimes called plasma skin resurfacing – is a non-surgical procedure that uses a pen-like device to administer plasma energy beneath the skin’s surface. This causes the skin to contract, smoothing its surface over time. 

While it works well for many patients, it is not suitable for everyone. Below, we will provide a brief breakdown of plasma skin tightening to help you decide whether you’re a good candidate. 

What Is Plasma Skin Tightening? 

During plasma skin tightening, your practitioner creates a small incision – usually a centimeter or less – under the skin’s surface and then inserts a handheld device beneath the skin. The device releases both helium gas and radiofrequency energy, which combine to create plasma energy. 

Plasma energy heats and cools the underlying tissue, which contracts collagen and stimulates tissue regeneration. The effect smooths out the skin’s surface, yielding results similar to more invasive procedures such as a facelift. After undergoing this procedure, you will see some results right away, but your skin will continue to improve for six to nine months. 

Not only is plasma skin tightening much less invasive than surgical procedures, but it’s also much shorter. Treatment usually takes only 15 to 30 minutes to complete per area. (However, times vary depending on the size of the treatment area, so it may take longer for some patients.) Treatment should not be painful, but some patients experience mild discomfort. Talk to your surgeon about pain management if you are concerned. They can apply a topical numbing cream or offer you medication during the procedure. 

Most people only need a single treatment of plasma skin tightening to see results, as opposed to similar non-surgical treatments. Popular forms of plasma skin tightening include Renuvion.  

Who Is A Good Candidate For Plasma Skin Tightening? 

It tends to work best for those with milder skin laxity issues who want to avoid surgery. Surgeries like a tummy tuck and body lift may require a week of downtime, and not every patient can take this much time off of work and other responsibilities to recover. With this procedure, while you may have to wear a compression garment for the first few weeks to manage swelling, you can resume normal day-to-day activities within a few days. However, always talk to your surgeon about aftercare instructions specific to your needs and follow these guidelines closely to avoid complications.  

Would Anything Disqualify Me From Plasma Skin Tightening? 

While it’s ultimately performed at your practitioner’s discretion, some medical issues are more likely to disqualify you from it. The procedure is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as it’s unclear how plasma energy could affect the fetus or baby. Those with diabetes or autoimmune diseases may be bad candidates for it at such conditions can increase your risk of complications. 

In addition to safety concerns, there’s the question of whether you can achieve your desired results through plasma skin tightening. Extreme weight loss (100 pounds or more) and sometimes pregnancy may cause severe cases of loose skin that typically require surgery to correct. 

The best way to determine whether you’re a good candidate for it is to book a consultation with an experienced medical professional. They can look closely at your current health, medical history, and aesthetic goals to determine whether the procedure would be beneficial to you. 

The Bottom Line 

Plasma skin tightening is an option for those with moderate to minor skin laxity issues hoping to avoid surgery. While full recovery from it can take up to a month, you can resume most daily activities right away. The procedure is a great way to improve your self-esteem and self-image without significantly disrupting your day-to-day life. 

Considering this skin tightening procedure? Leif Rogers, MD, is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon. If you’re interested in a tummy tuck, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation. 

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