Fractional HiFR Helps Fight Signs of Aging on Lower Face/Neck


Fractional high intensity focused radiofrequency (HiFR) is safe and effective in the treatment of mild to moderate laxity of the lower face and neck, new research suggests.

The study was selected as Editor’s Choice in the July 2016 issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Thirty three patients (7 males, 26 females, age range 37–74 years) with mild to moderate skin laxity of the lower face/neck received three treatments at monthly intervals. The protocol, developed by the authors, comprised three passes per session, at decreasing dermal depths for each pass.

Histologic assessment of skin immediately after treatment was performed to identify the site and area of damage in the dermis.  Clinical digital photography was taken at baseline and at 6 months after the final treatment session. Standardized computer measurement of improvement in the gnathion and cervicomental angles was the primary objective evaluation. A global assessment of improvement was graded by blinded assessors based on the photography. A telephone survey of patient satisfaction was performed at 12 months post-treatment.

A significant post-treatment decrease in the cervicomental and gnathion angles was seen of 28.5° and 16.6°, respectively (P < 0.0001 for both), the study showed. Histology immediately post-treatment showed a clear demarcated and roughly oval area of coagulation associated with the tip of the needle, confined to the dermis and not involving the epidermis.  In the global assessment, 81.8 percent of the patients achieved moderate or higher results, and 87 percent of patients were very satisfied or better. Downtime was minimal, lasting 3–4 days, and no persistent adverse events were recorded.

“Device treatment of neck and lower face laxity is certainly in the spotlight of late. Unfortunately, photographic comparison and other quantitative assessment methods of documenting improvement in laxity have proven to be challenging,” the study authors write. They used a novel method of comparing two of the most important angles that define the shape of the neck. “This method is reproducible, a great marker for visual improvement, and accurately highlights the utility of fractional HiFR.” 

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