Radiofrequency Therapy and Noncosmetic Cutaneous Conditions

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BACKGROUNDThe need for noninvasive methods in treatment of cutaneous disease has continued to evolve exponentially. Amidst the search for technologies, radiofrequency (RF) has proven efficacious in numerous skin disease processes. Although RF is well known for its cosmetic utility, its mechanism is valued in the treatment of many noncosmetic cutaneous conditions of various etiologies.OBJECTIVETo identify and describe studies in which RF was used to treat noncosmetic skin conditions and to explore the potential of this modality for further application in dermatologic diseases.MATERIALS AND METHODSThe PubMed database was used to find relevant articles.RESULTSThis search strategy yielded 54 articles that met the eligibility criteria. Noncosmetic indications discussed in these articles include varicose veins (n = 10,550), lymphangioma circumscriptum (n = 72), cutaneous neoplasms (n = 42), cutaneous leishmaniasis (n = 743), acne and acne scarring (n = 158), non–acne scarring (n = 43), primary axillary hyperhidrosis (n = 76), and acute and chronic wounds (n = 94).CONCLUSIONTreatment with RF is an effective, generally noninvasive modality with a relatively short postprocedure recovery time and little potential for severe adverse effects in the treatment of several cutaneous conditions. Further clinical studies would prove useful to assess the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this treatment.

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