The dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma source for biomedical application is characterized using optical emission spectroscopy, plasma-chemical simulation and voltage–current measurements. This plasma source possesses only one electrode covered by ceramic. Human body or some other object with enough high electric capacitance or connected to ground can serve as the opposite electrode. DBD consists of a number of microdischarge channels distributed in the gas gap between the electrodes and on the surface of the dielectric. To characterize the plasma conditions in the DBD source, an aluminium plate is used as an opposite electrode. Electric parameters, the diameter of microdischarge channel and plasma parameters (electron distribution function and electron density) are determined. The gas temperature is measured in the microdischarge channel and calculated in afterglow phase. The heating of the opposite electrode is studied using probe measurement. The gas and plasma parameters in the microdischarge channel are studied at varied distances between electrodes. According to an energy balance study, the input microdischarge electric energy dissipates mainly in heating of electrodes (about 90%) and partially (about 10%) in the production of chemical active species (atoms and metastable molecules).