Minimally invasive skin tightening is a burgeoning area of the aesthetic world. Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Russell Babbitt, has added what he feels is the new gold standard for skin tightening — Renuvion. Renuvion uses helium plasma energy delivered into the dermis layer of the skin to achieve remarkable skin tightening.
Where can Renuvion be used to tighten the skin?
Because the helium provides unique, effective cooling, Renuvion can be used virtually anywhere on the body. These are areas Dr. Babbitt has been using this brand-new treatment for our patients:
- Upper arms
- Lower face
Renuvion J-Plasma vs. Other Skin Tightening Treatments
You’ve likely heard of other means of creating the wound-healing mechanisms in the skin that lead to increased collagen production and overall skin tightening. These treatments use either laser energy or radiofrequency energy to attain their results. The problem with these treatments is that if the energy levels used are too high there can be damage to the tissue causing burns or scarring.
J-Plasma is different because helium plasma only requires a small amount of radiofrequency energy to activate the helium gas. This leads to a release of ionic energy. The combination allows J-Plasma to deliver better skin tightening at lower temperatures with virtually no risk for tissue damage. That’s in contrast to laser treatments that rely solely on heat energy to trigger the skin’s wound-healing response in the dermis.
Is a Renuvion treatment painful?
Delivering plasma energy under the skin sounds like a sci-fi movie and patients assume it must be painful. It’s not. For most treatment areas, Dr. Babbitt uses a combination of local anesthesia and sedation. The anesthesia is meant to cover the tiny incisions he makes, and the insertion of the thin Renuvion wand under the skin to deliver the helium plasma and RF energy.
Are there side effects with Renuvion?
The main side effects are redness, potential bruising, and swelling across the treatment areas. Because the helium plasma energy is delivered subdermally, there isn’t any harm to the surface skin. Also, helium is much cooler than laser energy, making Renuvion a much safer alternative for skin tightening without the risks of skin burning and damage. Dr. Babbitt will discuss possible side effects during your consultation.
What happens during a Renuvion treatment?
Renuvion is a new type of treatment using an energy source not used in other treatments, helium. Helium on its own is inert and non-reactive. But when it is ionized with radiofrequency energy it becomes very reactive, a state known as plasma. To get this energy where it can do some good, Dr. Babbitt makes a series of small entry incisions in the treatment area. He then moves the Renuvion handpiece, with its thin rod-like end into the incision.
Once he has the Renuvion device in place, it is activated. A stream of plasma energy mixing helium with radiofrequency energy is then released under the skin. This energy generates enough heat to contract the skin while, at the same time, the excess helium gas cools the treatment area. This combination of energy contracts the tissues just under the skin, which creates skin tightening across the surface skin. In addition to immediate tightening, the heat released in the dermis layer of the skin triggers the typical wound healing mechanism you’ve heard about in other procedures. This creates an increase in collagen production that further supports and thickens the skin for months.
Is there any downtime after a Renuvion treatment?
Skin will be red, and patients can have some minor swelling after these treatments. There can also be slight bruising at the insertion sites of the Renuvion wand. These issues usually resolve in 5-7 days. For most patients, however, they look fine to go out in just 2-3 days. Any discomfort is easily manageable with over-the-counter pain medication. Downtime is minimal, and these are easy treatments to tolerate.
How long does it take to see results from Renuvion?
There is immediate tightening followed by long-term tightening. When the body senses the combination of cold plasma and RF energy delivered by Renuvion, it responds with the classic wound-healing response, even though there isn’t any actual wound. This immediately creates contraction of the soft tissue across the treatment area. From there, the body continues to build new collagen supplies for the next 6 to 9 months; this is the wound-healing response that improves skin tone and tightness from within.