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J Dermatol. 2015 Jun;42(6):580-7. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.12864. Epub 2015 Apr 9.

Clinical studies of the treatment of facial atrophic acne scars and acne with a bipolar fractional radiofrequency system.

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Department of Dermatology, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama, Japan.
Department of Cosmetic Dermatology and Photomedicine, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama, Japan.


Few clinical studies have examined the utility of bipolar fractional radiofrequency (FRF) therapy as a treatment for atrophic acne scars and active acne in people with darker skin. This study was designed to compare the safety and efficacy of bipolar FRF therapy as a treatment for atrophic acne scars and acne vulgaris. Twenty-three Japanese patients with atrophic acne scars and mild to severe acne on both cheeks were treated with a bipolar FRF system (eMatrix; Syneron, Yokneam Illit, Israel). Five treatment sessions were carried out at 1-month intervals, and the patients were followed up for 3 months after the final treatment. Assessments of scar severity and the number of acne lesions and 3-D in vivo imaging analysis were performed. Evaluations of the treatment outcomes and their effects on the patients' quality of life (QOL) were also carried out. We demonstrated that the improvement in scar volume was marked in the patients with mild scars and was at least moderate in 23 (57.5%) of the treated areas. With regard to the number of acne lesions, the treated areas exhibited significantly fewer lesions compared with the baseline at each time point (P < 0.05). The patients' assessments of the treatment outcomes and their QOL indicated that both had improved significantly by the end of the study. Furthermore, significant reductions in the patients' sebum levels, skin roughness and scar depth were observed. Bipolar FRF treatment significantly improved the atrophic acne scars and acne of Japanese patients and had minimal side-effects.


3-D imaging analysis; Skindex-16; acne vulgaris; atrophic acne scars; bipolar fractional radiofrequency

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