Skin rejuvenation by radiofrequency therapy: methods, effects and risks


Prof. Dr. Uwe Paasch
Department of Dermatology, Venereology
and Allergy, University of Leipzig
Ph.-Rosenthal-Strasse 23-25
D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
Tel.: +49-341-9718619
Fax: +49-341-9718611


Treatment of sun-damaged skin and wrinkles is attracting increasing interest as the possible approaches expand. Recently mono- und bipolar radiofrequency devices have been introduced as new treatment options for skin rejuvenation. Initial studies have demonstrated changes in collagen content of the skin as the molecular basis of skin texture improvement. However, there are many possible risks and side effects. We describe a patient referred to us with severe facial scarring as a result of a bipolar radiofrequency treatment performed by non-medical personnel. Due to the risk of permanent tissue damage, the indications for radiofrequency interventions should be made carefully. Potential contraindications should be considered and written informed consent about all possible side effects and risk factors should be obtained. According to current knowledge, the experience of the physician using radiofrequency devices is most important in determining the outcome of this procedure. Therefore the use of radiofrequency therapy requires extensive training.