Helium Plasma Skin Regeneration: Evaluation of Skin Tissue Effects in a Porcine Model and Comparison to Nitrogen Plasma Skin Regeneration


Journal Article


J. David Holcomb, MD and Adrienne Schucker, DVM, DACVP


Background and Objectives: Helium plasma skin regeneration (PSR) is a novel skin rejuvenation technology with significant differences compared with nitrogen PSR technology but that may exert similar skin tissue effects. Study objectives included a comparison of acute and chronic skin tissue changes among the two plasmas in a porcine animal model.

Study Design/Materials and Methods: In this study, both helium and nitrogen gas plasmas were used to treat the dorsal skin of Yorkshire cross mini pigs with 20% (8.6 J/cm2) and 40% (17.8 J/cm2) power helium plasma single pass treatment (4 liter gas flow, continuous energy delivery, and linear non‐overlapping passes) compared with high energy nitrogen plasma double pass treatment (PSR3 @ 14.1 J/cm2: 4.0 J, 2.5Hz pulse rate, overlapping horizontal, and vertical passes). Acute and chronic skin contraction, maximum acute depth of injury and chronic reparative healing depth were assessed along with representative histopathology in each treatment paradigm.

Results: High‐energy nitrogen plasma treatment exhibited greatest mean depth of acute tissue injury 4 hours posttreatment whereas helium plasma treatment exhibited greater acute skin tissue contraction. Then, 20% and 40% power helium plasma treatment results were each very similar among animals as a percentage of nitrogen plasma treatment results for both depths of acute tissue injury and acute skin tissue contraction. Mean depths of reparative tissue healing were similar among treatment paradigms 30 days after treatment with significant intra‐ and inter‐animal variability observed within each treatment paradigm. Thirty‐day mean skin tissue contraction was greater for helium plasma treatment; however, the data varied significantly between animals in all paradigms. Histopathologic tissue evaluation after 30 days showed  similar findings among the treatment paradigms with epidermal hyperplasia, flattening of rete ridges and with regenerative granulation tissue expanding the superficial and papillary dermis.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates modestly reduced depth of the thermal effect, greater skin tissue contraction and similarity of acute and chronic histopathological findings for helium plasma when compared with nitrogen plasma in a porcine animal model.


The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and publication of this article. No funding was received for this article. Drs DiBernardo, Bharti, and Kortesis are paid consultants for Apyx Medical, and Dr Duncan is a member of Apyx Medical’s Medical Advisory Board. The opinions contained herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of Apyx Medical, Inc.

Apyx Medical manufactures and owns the Renuvion®/J-Plasma® technology discussed in this article.


    • Renuvion Dermal Handpiece is indicated for dermatological procedures for the treatment of moderate to severe wrinkles and rhytides, limited to patients with Fitzpatrick skin types I, II, or III.
    • Apyx Medical wants to present to you with current scientific discourse. Specific usage outside of the cleared indications may not be safe or effective.


    • Risks associated with the use of the Renuvion Dermal System include but are not limited to hypertrophic scarring, milia/acne, telangiectasia (spider veins), skin discoloration/ hypopigmentation, dormant infection reactivation, infection, bruising or bleeding. Warning: Application of more than one treatment pass in the perioral area, on the forehead, and along the jawline has been associated with hypertrophic scarring.

As with any procedure, individual results may vary. As with all energy devices there are inherent risks associated with its use, refer to the IFU for further information.

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