Long-term three-dimensional volumetric assessment of skin tightening using a sharply tapered non-insulated microneedle radiofrequency applicator with novel fractionated pulse mode in asians

Lasers Surg Med. 2015 Oct;47(8):626-33. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22401. Epub 2015 Aug 14.


Background and objective: Non-insulated microneedle radiofrequency (NIMNRF) is a novel method that allows non-thermal penetration of the epidermis followed by radiofrequency (RF) coagulation at selected depths of the dermis that are surrounded by a zone of non-coagulative volumetric heating. The objective of this study was to investigate subjectively and objectively the efficacy of a single fractional NIMNRF treatment.

Study design/materials and methods: Twenty Japanese patients underwent full face skin tightening using a sharply tapered NIMNRF applicator with a novel fractionated pulse mode. The system platform (1MHZ) incorporated six independent phase controlled RF generators coupled to RF microneedles that induced skin remodeling via controlled dermal coagulation. Patients received from 500 to 1000 pulses that were 80-110 milliseconds in duration at a power of 10-14 W, and a 1.5-2.5 mm penetration depth. Topical anesthetic cream was applied before the treatment. Monthly three-dimensional (3-D) volumetric assessments were performed for 6 months after treatment. Patients rated their satisfaction using a 5-point scale.

Results: During the study patients showed significant skin tightening on the lower two-thirds of the face. Objective assessments with superimposed 3-D color images showed significant median volumetric reduction of 12.1 ml at 6 months post-treatment. Ninety percent of the patients were either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the treatment results. The treatments were well tolerated with minimal discomfort. Complications included a slight burning sensation and mild erythema that were minor and transitory; both resolved within 5 hours. Side effects such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, epidermal burns, and scar formation were not observed.

Conclusion: The advantages of this NIMNRF treatment for skin tightening are its long-lasting high efficacy as shown through 3-D volumetric assessments. Moreover, NIMNRF produced minimal complications and downtime as well as few side effects. This non-invasive novel fractional NIMNRF approach provides safe and effective treatment of skin tightening in Asian patients.

Keywords: facial contours; non-insulated needles; non-invasive fractional radiofrequency; rejuvenation; skin laxity; skin remodeling; volumetric measurement.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Cosmetic Techniques* / instrumentation
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Face
  • Female
  • Hemostatic Techniques / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needles
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Radio Waves*
  • Rejuvenation*
  • Skin Aging*