Our expert says:
Hi Mara, thank you for the question and my apologies for the delay with your answer.
Rhytec is the name of the company that manufactures the Portrait machine, a technology that uses plasma energy (nitrogen), for skin rejuvenation. From what I understand with this technology it is used specifically for wrinkle and pigmentory improvements only, and not for veins.
The brown spots or pigmentory changes you have observed following the IPL treatment is most probably as a result from settings that were too high (pigment in the shape of the rectangle of the crystal used) or that deeper pigmentation was drawn to the surface (no specific pattern) and therefore requires further treatments to resolve it.
Before choosing an IPL treatment one needs to consider two things:
The person operating the machine as the best technology in the world will give the worst results with a ‘poor’ operator.
The technology used – there is a huge difference in the IPL based machines on the market today regarding their technology, effects, and side effect profile.
Expect to pay between R7000.00 to R8000.00 for the Active FX laser which is an ablative fractional CO2 laser with excellent skin tightening, and skin rejuvenating effects. However, please remember that this will give you considerable downtime for 7 to 10 days.
The Portrait will produce downtime in the form of redness and some scabbing for 5 to 7 days.
I have pasted a number of studies that have been performed with the Portrait and their results:
Skin Rejuvenation with Very Low Energy Plasma
Parlette E, Graber E, Daniels N, Bernstein E, Geronemus R, Dover J, Arndt K
Presented at ASLMS, Orlando 2008
Background and Objective: Evaluate the efficacy of very low energy nitrogen plasma as a minimal downtime procedure for improving skin tone, texture, dyschromia, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Study Design/Materials and Methods: Portrait PSR3 system generated nitrogen plasma through controlled radio frequency energy. Two treatment centers participated. Subjects underwent initial screening. Patients received 6 treatments at 3 week intervals. Day 1 following treatments, phone assessments was performed. 30 days following the final treatment, a biopsy, final assessments, and photos were taken. One hour prior to treatments, patients applied non-anesthetic moisturizer. 0.5J was applied to the full face with a single pass each treatment. After the procedure, investigators recorded procedural observations. Patients completed questionnaires at each treatment and follow-up.
Results: 17 patients were treated at two sites. All patients were female with an average age of 51 years. Average treatment time was 6 minutes with an average of 298 pulses. No adverse events were reported. One patient experienced flaking day 1 after treatment 2. Physician assessment of wrinkle severity was rated 0 (no wrinkles) to 9 (severely wrinkled). Pre-treatment physician rating was 4.12, and post-treatment 3.94. Patient textural assessment was 0 (very rough/uneven) to 4 (very smooth) with a 30% improvement rating. Patient skin quality assessment was 0 (poor) to 4 (excellent) with a 21% improvement rating. Patient satisfaction was rated 0 (not satisfied) to 4 (total satisfaction) with a post-treatment rating of 2.13 (moderately satisfied to satisfied) with a 38% overall improvement.
Conclusion: Very low energy plasma is a safe, quick procedure offering patient satisfaction with modest improvement and no downtime.
Comparison Between Fractionated and Plasmakinetic Skin Resurfacing for Periocular Wrinkles
Weinstein C, Da Silva K, Attalla M, Chen P
Presented at ASLMS, Orlando 2008
Background and Objectives: To compare the efficacy of fractionated skin resurfacing (Fraxel-Reliant Technologies) with Plasmakinetic skin resurfacing (Plasma Portrait PSR-Rhytec) for improvement of periocular wrinkles.
Materials and Methods: Two groups of 16 matched patients received either 1 treatment of Plasma Portrait PSR (Rhytec) or 4 treatments of the Fraxel (Reliant Technologies) for static periocular wrinkles. Plasma Portrait PSR group received 1 treatment at 3.0 J/cm2 2 passes. The Fraxel group received 4 treatment sessions, 4 weeks apart, at 125 MTZ/cm2, 12 m joules, 10 passes, total density of 1250 MTZ/cm2.
Results: Two independent observers assessed the degree of improvement after 6 months. The Plasma Portrait group improved on average 83.2% in periocular wrinkles. The Fraxel group improved on average 36.8%. Healing time (return to work) for Plasma Portrait PSR was 5.6 days, while Fraxel was 1.4 days. Post Plasma PSR treatment erythema lasted 4.7 weeks, while Fraxel was 6.2 days. There were no cases of scarring or permanent hyperpigmentation in either group.
Conclusion: Plasmakinetic (Portrait PSR) appears to produce significantly more improvement in periocular wrinkles compared to commonly used fractionated (Fraxel) laser parameters. There was however more “down time” and post treatment erythema with the Plasma Portrait PSR compared with Fraxel laser.
A Randomised Control Trial Comparing Plasma Skin Resurfacing (PSR)
with Carbon Dioxide Laser in the Treatment of Benign Skin Lesions
Potter M, Harrison R, Ramsden A, Penny K, Andrews P, Gault D
Lasers in Medical Science, Volume 18, Supplement 1, 2003.
Introduction: The ideal mode of removing skin lesions would be accurate, involve minimal collateral damage, allow rapid healing and induce minimal scarring. A novel Plasma Skin Resurfacing (PSR) device has been developed which delivers energy to the skin by plasma pulses induced by passing RF into nitrogen gas. The plasma causes rapid heating of the skin lesion, with accurate and specific tissue ablation, but with minimal thermal damage. PSR does not require a dedicated operating facility or specialised safety equipment, and will have significant cost savings compared to lasers.
Materials and Methods: 21 patients with 41 benign skin lesions were randomised to receive either laser or PSR treatment. Patients were reviewed at 10 days, 3 months and 6 months post-surgery, with follow up measures recorded and observed at each time period.
Results: There was no significant difference in any follow up measure, including degree of re-epithelialisation, hyper or hypopigmentation, scarring (area and raised height), pain, redness, lumpiness, itchiness and level of satisfaction at each follow-up appointment.
Conclusion: This randomised control trial has demonstrated that the novel technology of Plasma Resurfacing can be used to remove benign skin lesions with the same efficacy and low complication rate as CO2 Laser treatment.
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