Background: Various treatment modalities including non-invasive methods such as chemical peels, topical retinoids, microdermabrasion, minimally invasive techniques such as microneedling, fractional lasers, microneedling radiofrequency devices and invasive procedures such as acne scar surgeries and ablative lasers are used for acne scars, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages. This study is a retrospective assessment of efficacy and safety of microneedling fractional radiofrequency in the treatment of acne scars.
Methods: Thirty one patients of skin types III-V with moderate and severe facial acne scarring received four sequential fractional radiofrequency treatments over a period of 6 months with an interval of 6 weeks between each session. Goodman & Baron's acne scar grading system was used for assessment by a side by side comparison of preoperative and post- operative photographs taken at their first visit and at the end of 3 months after the last session.
Results: Estimation of improvement with Goodman and Baron's Global Acne Scarring System showed that by qualitative assessment of 31 patients with grade 3 and grade 4 acne scars, 80.64% showed improvement by 2 grades and 19.35% showed improvement by 1 grade. Quantitative assessment showed that 58% of the patients had moderate, 29% had minimal, 9% had good and 3% showed very good improvement. Adverse effects were limited to transient pain, erythema, edema and hyperpigmentation.
Conclusion: Microneedling fractional radiofrequency is efficacious for the treatment of moderate and severe acne scars.
Keywords: Acne scars; microneedling fractional radiofrequency; treatment for acne scars.