The efficacy and safety of combined microneedle fractional radiofrequency and sublative fractional radiofrequency for acne scars in Asian skin

Jae Yang Park, Eo Gin Lee, Moon Soo Yoon, Hee Jung Lee
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 2016, 15 (2): 102-7

BACKGROUND: Microneedle fractional radiofrequency has been reported to be effective for improving wrinkles, enlarged pores and various scars. Sublative fractional radiofrequency has been shown to induce both fractional ablation of epidermis and upper dermal remodelling, which had rejuvenation effects in photoaged skin. Both modalities may have the potential synergy to improve acne scars.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of combined microneedle and sublative fractional radiofrequency for acne scars in Asian skin.

METHODS: Twenty subjects comprised 11 males and 9 females (mean age 23.65 ± 2.94, skin phototype III-IV) with moderate to severe acne scars. The subjects received three consecutive combined microneedle and sublative fractional radiofrequency at 4-week intervals over 12 weeks. Both blinded dermatologists and subjects assessed the clinical improvement based on the standardized photography and questionnaires, respectively. The quartile grading scale was utilized and defined as follows: grade 1, 0-25% improvement; grade 2, 26-50% improvement; grade 3, 51-75% improvement and grade 4, 76-100% improvement.

RESULTS: All 20 subjects were assessed to have grade 2 or more clinical improvement by physicians; four (20%) had grade 4, 10 (50%) had grade 3, and six (30%) had grade 2 improvement. The subjects' grading also showed a good concordance as indicated by Kappa index of 0.695. The mean duration of post-therapy crusting was 5.2 days and post-therapy erythema lasted 2.5 days.

CONCLUSION: Combined microneedle and sublative fractional radiofrequency can have a positive therapeutic effect with no serious complications and may provide a new therapeutic approach on acne scars in Asians.

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