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Plasma IQ

What is Plasma IQ?

Plasma IQ is a noninvasive skin rejuvenation treatment that delivers focused, controlled microbeams of plasma energy, to tighten skin and reduce the signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and benign skin lesions like cherry angioma, skin tags, warts, and moles. 

It’s often used to lift sagging upper and lower eyelids and treat fine lines in delicate areas, including crow’s feet, lip lines, and wrinkles on the neck and décolletage. It can also reduce the appearance of scars, including acne scars and stretch marks, and create a more even skin tone. 

The Plasma IQ pen uses plasma, an ionized gas, to create a series of precise microinjuries that stimulates a natural healing response in the skin's fibroblast cells, boosting their production of collagen and elastin (the protein fibers that make skin smooth, firm, and elastic).

Developed by Neauvia and manufactured by Suneva Medical, Plasma IQ is one of only two handheld devices that are FDA-cleared for the removal and destruction of skin lesions and the coagulation of tissue, which means that it’s considered safe and effective. Plasma IQ is also the first device of its kind to be approved by Health Canada. Like other plasma devices, it hasn’t been specifically cleared to tighten and firm skin, but it’s commonly used for this purpose by reputable providers.

How does Plasma IQ fibroblasting work?

This treatment’s plasma energy is formed by ionizing nitrogen gas in the air between the surface of the skin and the electrode tip of the device. The close proximity of the tip of the pen to the skin allows for precise microinjuries to the upper layers of the skin and limits the spread of plasma energy to the surrounding skin. 

Plasma IQ has two levels of energy—high (950V) or low (650V)—which allows for a precise amount of energy to be delivered during treatment. 

As the device is brought close to the skin, it ionizes nitrogen gas particles in the air, to create a plasma arc that looks like a spark. This arc causes microinjuries called “sublimation” on the epidermis (the skin’s surface layer). The energy also penetrates to the deeper dermal layer, which contains the fibroblasts (the cells that produce collagen and elastin).

This creates immediate skin tightening in the treated area, while the surrounding area is not affected, reducing downtime and improving the healing process. 

Over the next few months, the results continue to improve as stimulated fibroblast cells create new collagen and elastin.

What are the pros and cons of a Plasma IQ treatment?

Pros

This nonsurgical treatment creates immediate tissue contraction and skin tightening, and benefits continue over the next few months as the skin produces new collagen and elastin. 
Two levels of energy allow for safe and effective treatment for a variety of indications and areas. 
The depth of penetration of plasma energy can be adjusted, to limit tissue injury and prevent complications. 
The plasma energy is highly targeted within the treatment area, leaving the surrounding tissue unaffected. 
Unlike some plasma devices, Plasma IQ is FDA-cleared, which ensures high safety standards. 
Cons 

Most people need more than one treatment session—often up to three treatments, six weeks apart—to see significant results. You'll also need annual touch-up treatments, to maintain them. 
Because there’s a risk of hyperpigmentation for patients with a high level of melanin in their skin, this treatment is only suitable for patients with skin tones I–IV on the Fitzpatrick scale.  
Plasma IQ can create an uncomfortable stinging sensation, though your skin will be numbed prior to the treatment, to reduce discomfort. 
You can expect to have about a week of social downtime after the procedure as you heal. The most common side effects are swelling, tenderness, scabbing, and redness. The procedure also creates tiny brown carbon crusts, or scabs, that last for about a week before falling off. 

What happens during a Plasma IQ treatment?
The treatment is performed in the office, in as little as 30 minutes, depending on the areas being treated. First, your provider will numb the treatment area with a topical anesthetic, to help keep you comfortable. They may also use air coolers, to help reduce the stinging sensation from the plasma energy.

Your provider will hold the Plasma IQ pen very close to your skin (one millimeter from the skin’s surface), creating a grid like pattern of microinjuries along the fine lines, on the lesion, or across the area of skin laxity.

How long does recovery take?
Total recovery time is about a week. Your skin may feel tender for a few hours after treatment, with sensations of slight burning and tingling. 

Continued tenderness, redness, swelling (most commonly, around the eyes), and mild discomfort last for several days to a week. 

The treatment produces pinpoint carbon crusts that act as a natural protective biological dressing while the skin heals.

These little scabs should fall off after about a week. Be sure to leave them to heal; picking them off can lead to scars, infection, or pigmentary changes. 

 Tip: As with other skin rejuvenation treatments, you can prolong your results through daily use of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, along with a science-backed anti-aging skin care routine.

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