Radiofrequency for the treatment of skin laxity: mith or truth

An Bras Dermatol. 2015 Sep-Oct;90(5):707-21. doi: 10.1590/abd1806-4841.20153605.


The nonablative radiofrequency is a procedure commonly used for the treatment of skin laxity from an increase in tissue temperature. The goal is to induce thermal damage to thus stimulate neocollagenesis in deep layers of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. However, many of these devices haven't been tested and their parameters are still not accepted by the scientific community. Because of this, it is necessary to review the literature regarding the physiological effects and parameters for application of radiofrequency and methodological quality and level of evidence of studies. A literature search was performed in MEDLINE, PEDro, SciELO, PubMed, LILACS and CAPES and experimental studies in humans, which used radiofrequency devices as treatment for facial or body laxity, were selected. The results showed that the main physiological effect is to stimulate collagen synthesis. There was no homogeneity between studies in relation to most of the parameters used and the methodological quality of studies and level of evidence for using radiofrequency are low. This fact complicates the determination of effective parameters for clinical use of this device in the treatment of skin laxity. The analyzed studies suggest that radiofrequency is effective, however the physiological mechanisms and the required parameters are not clear in the literature.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Collagen / biosynthesis
  • Collagen / radiation effects*
  • Cosmetic Techniques
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radiofrequency Therapy*
  • Rejuvenation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Skin Aging / radiation effects*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Collagen