A fractional microneedle radiofrequency device and a CO2 fractional laser system performed equally well in treating facial acne vulgaris, while microneedle treatment reduced recovery time, according to study results.
Researchers in South Korea studied 20 East Asian patients with acne vulgaris (aged 15 to 28 years; 11 males) with Fitzpatrick skin types III or IV. On one side of each patient’s face, two passes of a CO2 fractional laser system (CO2 FS) with a pulse energy setting of 80 mJ and a density of 100 spots/cm2 were used. On the other side, two passes of a microneedle radiofrequency (MRF) device with an intensity of 8, a density of 25 microthermal zones/cm2 and a depth of 1.5 mm to 2.5 mm were used.
Ju Hee Lee
Patients were photographed at baseline, before each treatment and 3 months following treatments, and were not permitted to use oral or topical acne treatments during follow-up. Two masked dermatologists performed clinical assessments by comparing baseline and 3-month visit photographs, while patients scored overall satisfaction and described erythema duration for each side of their faces.
Photos showed notable improvements after 3 months on both sides of the face. Physicians assessed mean moderate improvement with no significant differences between treatments (MRF device-treated side, 2.33 vs. CO2 FS-treated side, 1.9; P>.05). Most patients were satisfied to slightly satisfied with treatment (80% MRF treated vs. 75% CO2 FS treated), with no significant difference in overall satisfaction between methods (P=.435).
Patients reported the mean duration of erythema lasted longer on the CO2 FS-treated side (11.75 days vs. 2.35; P<.001). No noticeable adverse events were observed.
MRF “has a significant effect on rejuvenation of the skin, including acne,” researcher Ju Hee Lee, MD, PhD, professor in the department of dermatology at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul told Healio.com. “MRF tips go deeper into the dermis but [create] lesser side effects because MRF has lesser damage on the epidermis.”