Treatment with capacitive radiofrequency helps improve scar appearance
Treatment of mature scars using a sequential combination of low-intensity radiofrequency, electric stimulation and negative pressure may induce improvements in the connective tissue in terms of surface wrinkling, skin elasticity and colour, according to a study.
A total of 26 mature scars in 20 patients (75 percent female) were treated twice weekly for 3 months. Treatments were carried out using a class I, BF-type electromedical device outfitted with a radiofrequency generator, an electric pulse generator and a vacuum pump. Each scar was evaluated relative to the skin in the corresponding healthy contralateral anatomical area prior to and after treatment.
At treatment conclusion, statistically significant reductions were observed in scar surface wrinkling and overall scar flattening, as indicated by the skin surface profile and the difference between the highest skin surface spot and the deepest skin furrow (p=0.0002 for both). The colour and elasticity of the scars were nearly similar to that of the healthy contralateral skin, as shown by the colorimetry and elastometry data. [Photomed Laser Surg 2017;doi:10.1089/pho.2016.4180]
The favourable objective outcomes corresponded to the results from the visual analogue scale (VAS) and personal self-assessment scale (PSAS) questionnaires.
“Actually the VAS scale demonstrated a significant overall improvement in the scar perception both in the patients and in the medical researcher; according to the PSAS scale, the patients referred a significant reduction of scar-related pain, stiffness, thickness and colour after the treatment,” the investigators noted.
Evidence has described the efficacy of radiofrequency, electric stimulation and negative pressure in the treatment of cellulitis and stretch marks, with the efficacy being attributed to the reorganization and regeneration of the collagen and elastic fibres. [Roman J Clin Exp Dermatol 2015;2:56–59; Hi-tech dermo 2013;5:29–36; La Medicina Estetica 2012;1:543–552]
“All of the modifications observed in the scars after the treatment are likely to be related to the peculiar action of radiofrequency, which allows selective heat transfer to the dermis and subcutaneous tissue, yielding a controlled collagen alteration,” they said.
This is supported by the absence of any significant effect on corneometry, transepidermal water loss and melanin index. “Therefore, the procedure under study can be considered safe without side effects on epithelia and melanocytes,” they added.
Despite the challenge of recruiting an actual homogenous sample with regard to objective assessment of scars due to the extreme variability of the individual response of the wound healing process, the investigators believe that the current data would bring new knowledge about the use of capacitive radiofrequency into new fields of clinical application.