The use of a microneedle fractional radiofrequency (MFR) system for the treatment of atrophic facial acne scars has demonstrated efficacy and safety among a group of Turkish patients, according to the results of a retrospective study conducted at the Dermato-Cosmetology Department of Uludag University Medical School in Bursa, Turkey, from 2014 to 2018. Findings from the analysis were published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

The investigators sought to examine use of the MFR device among 9 patients with atrophic facial acne scarring. The severity of acne scars was classified via use of the Goodman and Barron’s Global Qualitative Acne Scarring Grading System, as follows: 1, macular; 2, mild; 3, moderate; and 4, severe. The number of MFR treatment sessions varied among the participants, from 1 to 5 (median, 3), with 4-week intervals between sessions. The efficacy of the device was evaluated by physicians’ global assessment and patients’ self-assessment scales at 4 weeks after the last treatment.

Of the 9 participants, 7 were women and 2 were men. The mean patient age was 31.33±11.09 (range, 17-50) years. Among the participants, 2 had mild, 4 had moderate, and 3 had severe facial acne scars. The mean age of the acne scars was 13.22±8.79 (range, 4-30) years. According to the predominant scar subtype, 3 patients had V-shaped scars, 3 had U-shaped scars, and 3 had M-shaped scars.

Clinical improvement of >25% has been reported among 77.7% (7 of 9) and 88.9% (8 of 9) of the patients, according to physicians’ global assessment and patients’ self-assessment, respectively. Better clinical improvement was attained in those with U-shaped atrophic acne scars (22.2% rated as good improvement according to patients’ self-assessment, and 11.1% rated as good or excellent improvement according to physicians’ global assessment) compared with patients with M-shaped and V-shaped scars.

No severe adverse effects, including scarring, pigmentation changes, and wound infection, were reported among patients treated with the MFR system.

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The investigators reported favorable efficacy and safety among a group of Turkish patients with atrophic facial acne scars who were treated with the MFR device. Use of the system had the advantage of a quick return to daily life among treated patients. Additional studies are warranted in a large number of patients, including patients with all subtypes of acne scars, to further evaluate the efficacy of the MFR device. Combination therapies with the MFR system and other treatment methods should also be evaluated, particularly among patients with recalcitrant types of scars.

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Reference

Bulbul Baskan E, Akin Belli A. Evaluation of the efficacy of microneedle fractional radiofrequency in Turkish patients with atrophic facial acne scars [published online November 11, 2018]. J Cosmet Dermatol. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12812