Bipolar Radiofrequency in the Treatment of Dermatologic Imperfections: Clinicopathological and Immunohistochemical Aspects

September 2007 | Volume 6 | Issue 9 | Original Article | 890 | Copyright © September 2007

Gianni Montesi MD, Stefano Calvieri MD, Alberto Balzani MD, Michael H. Gold MD

Background: Rapid progress in the technology for skin rejuvenation has allowed for shorter post-treatment times than ever before. An example of such technology is the radiofrequency (RF) device, which offers nonablative skin rejuvenation, particularly for skin tightening and wrinkle reduction. Objective: Medical devices that emit RF energy produce a change in the electrical charges of the treated skin creating an electron movement, and the resistance of the tissue to the electron movement generates heat. This article examines the mechanism of action of a new bipolar RF device, which emits RF energy through a handpiece with a bipolar electrode configuration, and assesses the clinical histological and immunohistochemical results on a sample group of patients who underwent a cycle of sessions with this device. Methods and Materials: Thirty patients affected with periocular wrinkles, glabellar wrinkles, slackness of the cheeks with accentuation of the nasogenian furrow, striae distensae at the scapulohumeral joint, abdomen, and gluteal-trochanteric areas, or acne scars were included. These patients underwent a cycle of 6 to 8 sessions with 2-week intervals with the new bipolar RF device undergoing photographic monitoring before treatment and at the end of the cycle of sessions. In addition, 15 patients from the sample group were subjected to 2 biopsies, one at the start of treatment and the other 3 months after the last treatment. Results: All the patients showed improvement in treated imperfections from the second session onward, and they expressed their satisfaction at the end of the treatment cycle. The most notable clinical, histological, and immunohistochemical results were observed in the patients with abdominal striae distensae. In most cases, the temporary side effects observed consisted of rashes and ecchymosis. Two patients reported the formation of blisters on the treated area caused by excessively high RF settings. Conclusion: The new bipolar RF device proved to be effective, noninvasive, and easy to use. The improvement in the treated areas is progressive and continues to be apparent several months after the last session. The duration of the results achieved still remains to be accurately determined.