Long Term Follow-Up Results of a Fractional Radio Frequency Ablative Treatment of Acne Vulgaris and Related Acne Scars.
Introduction: Acne vulgaris and acne scarring are prevalent conditions that can have a negative effect on a patient’s quality of life. Fractional radiofrequency technologies have been shown to be clinically safe and effective in managing acne scars through dermal remodeling without causing
direct damage to the epidermis. In a recently published study, we presented our clinical and histological results in the treatment of patients with active acne and acne related scarring using a Fractional RF (FRF) device. In the current article we demonstrate long term follow-up results, up to two years post last fractional treatment. Methods: Four out of the eight patients who completed a four treatment regimen were invited for long term follow-up visit to document treatment results. In some cases, touch-up treatments were conducted to optimize clinical results. Results: Patients demonstrated significant improvement of acne lesions, acne scarring, pores and skin texture. Long term photos demonstrated that clinical improvement progressed with time. Conclusion: The current study further supports the previous findings that FRF is a safe and effective treatment modality for active acne and acne related scars. Treatment protocol can be customized according to patient needs and clinical results last for long term.
Acne Vulgaris, Fractional Radiofrequency, Acne Scars, Long Term Follow-Up
Facial acne vulgaris and acne scarring are widely prevalent conditions that can have a negative effect on a patient’s quality of life. A lot of research has been conducted in an attempt to treat active acne lesions and to minimize the appearance of resulting acne scars. Various therapeutic measures such as chemical peeling, dermabrasion, fillers and punch techniques have been performed to improve acne scarring but with sub-optimal outcomes. The potential of ablative lasers such as Er:YAG or CO2 lasers in producing significant improvement was promising; however, these technologies were found to be associated with long recovery times and side effects such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scarring . More recently, newer methods were developed to minimize adverse effects by treatment in a fractional manner, while leaving healthy areas to promote and improve healing process. Ablative fractional resurfacing using the CO2 fractional laser system has demonstrated significant beneficial effects on atrophic acne scars and minor side effects comparing to non-fractional CO2 laser .Newer techniques such as delivering fractional radiofrequency energy through miniature needles have been shown to be clinically efficient in managing acne scars through dermal remodeling, neoelastosis, and neocollagenesis
without causing direct damage to the epidermis -. FRF delivered electrical energy to create zones of thermal damage to the dermis in the area treated while sparing adjacent areas which serve as reservoir for wound healing . Published studies on treatments with the various energy-based fractional technologies demonstrate safety and efficacy in the treatment of acne scars. However, most of the studies involve relatively short follow-up periods usually ranging from one month to three months after last treatment, occasionally 6 months -. This relatively short follow-up period may be due to the difficulty in achieving patients’ availability, willingness and compliance in returning to the clinic for assessing and documenting results after termination of treatment program. In a recently published study, we presented our clinical and histological results in the treatment of eight patients with active acne and acne related scarring, using a Fractional RF (FRF) device (Fractora™, Invasix Ltd. Israel) . Baseline and follow-up photos were presented to visualize clinical results. As customary in similar studies, follow-up pictures were retaken at one- and three-month time-points after the last treatment. The objective of the current publication is to demonstrate long term follow-up results, up to two years post last fractional treatment, of four out of the eight patients which participated in the previous study.
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