Comparative study on efficacy and safety of 1550 nm Er:Glass fractional laser and fractional radiofrequency microneedle device for facial atrophic acne scar

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Jun;14(2):100-6. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12139. Epub 2015 Mar 23.


Background: The 1550 nm Er:Glass fractional laser is widely used for the treatment of atrophic acne scar. A novel fractional radiofrequency microneedle device has recently emerged as an alternative for treating acne scars.

Objectives: To evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of a Er:Glass fractional laser and fractional radiofrequency microneedle device in the treatment of facial atrophic acne scars and to assess the difference between the treatment modalities depending on facial compartment.

Methods: A total of 40 patients were equally randomized into two groups. Each group of 20 patients received three treatments at 4-week interval using Er:Glass fractional laser or fractional radiofrequency microneedle device.

Results: Scar severity scores (ECCA grading scale) improved by a mean of 25.0% and 18.6% in groups A and B, respectively (both P < 0.01). The difference in the degree of improvement was not statistically significant between the groups after three sessions of treatment. There were no significant side effects.

Conclusion: Atrophic acne scars improved in both groups without significant side effects. Additionally, the fractional laser was a more effective treatment option for acne scars, but the fractional radiofrequency microneedle device offered good adherence and short downtime.

Keywords: acne scar; fractional photothermolysis; radiofrequency.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications*
  • Acne Vulgaris / radiotherapy
  • Adult
  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Cicatrix / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Solid-State / adverse effects
  • Lasers, Solid-State / therapeutic use*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / adverse effects
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Needles
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult