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Lasers Surg Med. 2004;34(2):91-7.

Selective electro-thermolysis in aesthetic medicine: a review.

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Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York, USA.


The use of radiofrequency (RF) for selective electro-thermolysis has been found to produce a highly efficient thermal effect on biological tissue. Different from optical energy, RF energy is dependent on the electrical properties of the tissue rather than on concentration of chromophores in the skin for selective thermal destruction of targeted sites. Good results have been obtained with systems that use RF current alone for skin resurfacing, with efficacy comparable to laser resurfacing but with potentially more rapid healing. A related adverse effect is pain accompanying the procedure, due to a high depth of penetration. Another technology integrates RF energy together with optical energy (using lower energies of both forms of energies). These systems have shown efficacy in hair removal for all hair colors and skin types, as well as wrinkle reduction; and may reduce the risk of side effects associated with either RF or optical treatments alone. This article discusses the properties of electrical current in medicine and reviews the studies to date that have evaluated RF energy for dermatological applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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