Use of radiofrequency in cosmetic dermatology: Focus on nonablative treatment of acne scars

Brian J. Simmons, Robert D. Griffith, Leyre A. Falto-Aizpurua, Keyvan Nouri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acne is a common affliction among many teens and some adults that usually resolves over time. However, the severe sequela of acne scarring can lead to long-term psychological and psychiatric problems. There exists a multitude of modalities to treat acne scars such as more invasive surgical techniques, subcision, chemical peels, ablative lasers, fractional lasers, etc. A more recent technique for the treatment of acne scars is nonablative radiofrequency (RF) that works by passing a current through the dermis at a preset depth to produce small thermal wounds in the dermis which, in turn, stimulates dermal remodeling to produce new collagen and soften scar defects. This review article demonstrates that out of all RF modalities, microneedle bipolar RF and fractional bipolar RF treatments offers the best results for acne scarring. An improvement of 25%–75% can be expected after three to four treatment sessions using one to two passes per session. Treatment results are optimal approximately 3 months after final treatment. Common side effects can include transient pain, erythema, and scabbing. Further studies are needed to determine what RF treatment modalities work best for specific scar subtypes, so that further optimization of RF treatments for acne scars can be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-339
Number of pages5
JournalClinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 12 2014

Keywords

  • Acne scarring
  • Nonablative radiofrequency treatments
  • Radiofrequency treatments
  • Scars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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