Background: Multiple therapies involving ablative and nonablative techniques have been developed for rejuvenation of photodamaged skin. Monopolar radiofrequency (RF) is emerging as a gentler, nonablative skin-tightening device that delivers uniform heat to the dermis at a controlled depth.
Objective: We evaluated the clinical effects and objectively quantified the histologic changes of the nonablative RF device in the treatment of photoaging.
Methods: Six individuals of Fitzpatrick skin type III to IV and Glogau class I to II wrinkles were subjected to 3 months of treatment (6 sessions at 2-week intervals). Standard photographs and skin biopsy specimens were obtained at baseline, and at 3 and 6 months after the start of treatment. We performed quantitative evaluation of total elastin, collagen types I and III, and newly synthesized collagen using computerized histometric and immunohistochemical techniques. Blinded photographs were independently scored for wrinkle improvement.
Results: RF produced noticeable clinical results, with high satisfaction and corresponding facial skin improvement. Compared with the baseline, there was a statistically significant increase in the mean of collagen types I and III, and newly synthesized collagen, while the mean of total elastin was significantly decreased, at the end of treatment and 3 months posttreatment.
Limitations: A limitation of this study is the small number of patients, yet the results show a significant improvement.
Conclusions: Although the results may not be as impressive as those obtained by ablative treatments, RF is a promising treatment option for photoaging with fewer side effects and downtime.
Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.