Background: No studies have compared fractional microplasma radio frequency (RF) technology with the carbon dioxide fractional laser system (CO2 FS) in the treatment of atrophic acne scars in the same patient.
Objective: To compare the efficacy and safety of fractional microplasma RF with CO2 FS in the treatment of atrophic acne scars.
Methods and materials: Thirty-three Asian patients received three sessions of a randomized split-face treatment of fractional microplasma RF or CO2 FS.
Results: Both modalities had a roughly equivalent effect. Échelle d'Évaluation Clinique Des Cicatrices d'Acné scores were significantly lower after fractional microplasma RF (from 51.1 ± 14.2 to 22.3 ± 8.6, 56.4% improvement) and CO2 FS (from 48.8 ± 15.1 to 19.9 ± 7.9, 59.2% improvement) treatments. There was no statistically significant difference between the two therapies. Twelve subjects (36.4%) experienced postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) after 30 of 99 treatment sessions (30.3%) on the CO2 FS side and no PIH was observed on the fractional microplasma RF sides.
Conclusion: Both modalities have good effects on treating atrophic scars. PIH was not seen with the fractional microplasma RF, which might make it a better choice for patients with darker skin.
© 2013 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.