What is Plexr?
Plexr is a treatment for tightening skin without surgery – for example, to lift the upper eyelids without the cutting involved in a standard blepharoplasty (lid lift – in Greek, blepharon is ‘eyelid’ and plassein means ‘to shape’). Plexr uses ‘plasma’ energy to burn away tiny patches of skin along the creases of the excess skin (in this example, the skin below the browbone), thus abruptly shrinking the skin back up into a neater shape. (End of today’s Greek lesson: ‘plasma’ also comes from plassein, ‘to shape’.)
What is plasma energy?
You may be wondering what plasma energy is. We are all familiar with solids, liquids, and gases; plasma is one step beyond this, a different state of matter. The Plexr machine ionises gases in the air to create a small electrical spark similar to a tiny lightning bolt, which vaporises a minute patch of the skin. When you watch this treatment being performed, the tip of the wireless, pen-like device is a small metal prong that appears to be zapping the skin with these miniature lightning bolts.
What does Plexr do?
Plexr tightens the skin by burning small patches of it. Each zap from the prong of the Plexr device leaves a small burn mark and causes an instant tightening of the skin. The practitioner uses the device to create a pattern of these little marks along a crease of excess skin, which is what gives the instant shrinking effect.
If you’re thinking this sounds quite a hardcore option, you’re right. Those burn marks make the treatment area puff up for a few days as scabs grow over them; then after a week or so, the scabs fall off, leaving fragile new skin beneath, which needs to be well protected from UV light.
Does Plexr work?
Yes. Plexr is an effective treatment for tightening skin, albeit one I still find scary (so, no, I haven’t tried it). It also has other uses; see the next section for details.
Plexr works on a range of different skin types, but it is not recommended for use on darker skin, because the more melanin there is in your skin, the higher the risk of pigmentation problems occurring. Either hypopigmentation (too little pigmentation, producing light spots) or hyperpigmentation (too much pigmentation, producing dark spots) can occur.
Where can you use Plexr?
Most clinics that offer Plexr treatment use the device to treat the upper and lower eyelids and crow’s feet. But Plexr can also be used for other types of skin concerns, including the following:
- Improving acne scarring
- Removing tattoos
- Reducing skin imperfections (such as sun spots, warts, and pigmentation)
- Making scars and stretch marks less conspicuous
- Lifting the face and neck
What’s the difference between Plexr and plasma treatment?
Plexr is one of the best known brands of device used for ‘plasma’ treatment. Other ‘plasma machine’ devices include the Plasma IQ device and the Plasmage device.
Where can I get Plexr?
You can use the Find a Practitioner tool on this website to find a practitioner who offers Plexr treatment.
The Plexr device can only be used by trained medical specialists; even so, if you’re thinking about getting Plexr treatment, look for a practitioner who has as much experience as possible with the technique. In skilled hands, Plexr can deliver impressive results; but because the device works by burning your skin, you run the risk of scarring if the practitioner doesn’t get the treatment exactly right. Also, because you will usually need more than one treatment, you are submitting delicate skin – eg on the upper eyelids – to repeated trauma of burning. (Am I keen on this treatment? No, because I feel it is more risky than most.)
How much does Plexr cost?
The cost depends on the area you’re having treated. Here are example prices:
- Upper eyelids or lower eyelids or crow’s feet: £650
- Upper eyelids and lower eyelids: £895
- Upper eyelids, lower eyelids, and crow’s feet: £995
- Facelift: £600
- Individual small areas: £150
How long does Plexr take?
How long Plexr takes depends on the area you’re having treated, but here’s an example: Treating the area around both eyes takes around 30 minutes. Before the actual treatment, you will need to have anaesthetic cream applied and wait around 30 minutes for it to take effect.
Most clinics recommend a course of three treatments at six-week intervals to get the best long-term effect.
How long does Plexr last?
The effects of Plexr treatment typically last several years.
Are there any side effects to Plexr?
Apart from the swelling, scabbing and crusting that is part of the healing process that the treatment provokes? Because Plexr basically burns the skin, there is the potential for scarring with each of those tiny lightning-bolt marks; and because three rounds of treatment are advised for the maximum result, that’s potentially a lot of scarring.
What is it like to have Plexr?
Plexr treatment generally goes like this:
- You meet your practitioner and decide on a treatment plan. Because Plexr is a hardcore treatment, it’s vital you have a proper, honest discussion with your practitioner about whether they really think it is the best option for you. If you have a lot of loose skin on your eyelids, a surgical blepharoplasty will give a more precise and predictable result, and the healing time is shorter – though of course this involves surgery, anaesthesia and more expense.
- On the day of the appointment, you first have anaesthetic cream applied to the treatment area, and wait around 30 minutes for the cream to take effect. You then put on protective goggles to shield your eyes.
- The practitioner runs the Plexr device over the treatment area, carefully zapping the skin to create superficial burn-like injuries. You may feel a hot pin-pricking sensation from the device, or the anaesthetic cream may block it out completely. An assistant may use a fan to cool your skin as the practitioner works.
- After the treatment, the area will be red, and over the next day or two it will develop tiny pin-prick scabs where the device was fired. These scabs will gradually fall off after several days or a week.
- With the scabs still on, the treatment area is likely to look painful, though it may not hurt at all. You may be able to cover up the scabs with concealer, but it may simply fall into the cracks between them and make them look worse.
- After the scabs have all fallen off, the treated area may be red at first, but this will gradually fade. The skin of the treated area will be smoother than it was before treatment.
- To get the best long-term results from your treatment, you should follow the aftercare regime recommended by your practitioner. In particular, you will need to minimise sun exposure.