Opus Fractional Skin Resurfacing Laser
If you’ve been thinking about skin resurfacing or are already a devoted laser fan, you may want to consider one of the latest, first-of-its-kind devices on the market: Opus Plasma. Technically speaking, it’s not a laser, though it does offer laser-like results. Here, a deep dive on the new treatment that doctors are talking about.
What is the Opus Plasma, and how does it work?
First, a quick science lesson. Opus Plasma and the lasers of the world are considered energy-based devices. They all work by creating targeted areas of trauma in the skin and stimulating a wound-healing response, which in turn yields an improvement in tone and texture. Like many modern energy-based devices, the Opus Plasma is a micro-ablative, fractional technology. This means that it treats only tiny portions (fractions, as it were) of the skin in order to control tissue damage and minimize healing time.
The difference? Whereas lasers use light energy, Opus Plasma uses—surprise!—plasma energy. The two interact with the skin differently. Lasers create columns of injury that run vertically through the layers of the skin—picture a lawn being aerated.
On the flip side, the Opus Plasma creates a cup-shaped area of injury that’s relegated to the surface of the skin, smoothing away wrinkles, almost like a sandblaster. (The fact that the effects of the plasma are limited to the skin’s surface is an important differentiating factor between this and many lasers, especially as it pertains to downtime; more on that in a minute.)
It’s also worth noting that the metal pins of the Opus Plasma device are charged with radiofrequency energy. It’s this energy that reacts with atmospheric pressure in order to create the plasma that “injures” the skin—but it also has an added benefit. While the plasma works more superficially, the radiofrequency energy creates heat in the deeper layers of the skin, stimulating collagen production and, ultimately, helping tighten the skin.
Who are the best candidates for an Opus Plasma treatment?
To that point, Opus Plasma is a good choice—not only for those looking to smooth textural issues such as fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars but also for those who want to address laxity and sagging. It’s an especially good choice for addressing loss of elasticity on the neck. “Faces have always responded well to all kinds of energy-based devices, but the neck is trickier to treat because the skin is more sensitive and delicate.
Opus Plasma has worked beautifully, both for addressing loose skin on the neck and for treating etched-in horizontal or ‘tech neck’ lines. Another benefit? The Opus Plasma can be used much closer to the eye than lasers, making it ideal for addressing fine lines and crows’-feet.
While results obviously vary based on the individual, the Opus Plasma is generally recommended for those in their 40s to late 60s.. And while lasers have come a long way in recent years, many are still not recommended for patients with dark skin, due to the risk of hyperpigmentation. While you always have to be careful using energy-based devices on dark skin, the Opus Plasma can be used on all skin types, from Fitzpatrick I-VI, really filling a niche in the market.
What’s the procedure like?
As is the case with most devices, a topical numbing cream is first applied. But unlike with, say, a first-time Fraxel treatment, which can take around 30 minutes, or a fractional CO2 laser, which can take up to an hour — Opus takes only about 15 minutes to perform a full-face treatment with the Opus Plasma. You should stop using retinoids for a week or so prior to the treatment and will have to remove any type of jewelry during the procedure. (If the plasma energy bounces off metal, it can cause a spark.
It’s also worth noting that the Opus Plasma is very customizable. “The intensity can be dialed down to that of a light chemical peel or cranked up to achieve results comparable to a fractional CO2 laser. It comes with two different types of tips, for use on either the full face or on smaller, targeted areas. The device also works well on the body, including on the chest, arms, knees, and even to address stretch marks.
What’s the downtime following the Opus Plasma?
Opus Laser is usually on par with the downtime associated with Fraxel, even when the intensity is at a high level. Credit the fact that the plasma energy isn’t injuring the deeper layers of the skin, thus minimizing side effects such as dramatic swelling. Expect your skin to be slightly swollen and irritated – it may feel like a sunburn for 24 to 48 hours afterward. You may experience some skin flaking on days three and four, but most people are completely back to normal by day five to seven.
How much does an Opus Plasma treatment cost?
As with most cosmetic treatments, the price tag varies based on where you live. According to Alma, Opus Plasma’s parent company, the nationwide average is $3,000 per treatment for a series of three treatments, however at Cosmedics Med Spa we are offering an introductory special – $400 per area. The Opus Plasma can also be used to treat only smaller areas, such as around the eyes or mouth or on the neck, which typically costs about $750–$1,000, see pricing sheet for more information.
What kind of results does it deliver?
While it depends on how intense a treatment you receive, this device does have the ability to yield big-time results. While three treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart, are recommended, many of our patients are noticing improvements in texture and tone after just one treatment. That being said, be patient. The skin tightening effects, in particular, will take some time—about three months, depending on collagen remodeling.