Reducing Scars With RF
By Tania Meneghel, MD
One of my favorite procedures involves the use of Alma Lasers (almalasers.com) iPixelRF ablative fractional technology to treat scarring and stretch marks. The device uses radiofrequency energy to create micro-thermal zones, alternating areas of coagulation and ablation with areas of healthy skin for rapid recovery. Not only does the system deliver excellent results in the stimulation of collagen, but it also offers a quick, comfortable treatment and fast recovery times.
The system’s roller-style in-motion handpiece is easy to maneuver. It glides smoothly along the skin for precise treatment and takes only a fraction of the time required for a typical spot treatment performed with a stamp pattern handpiece. The iPixelRF has become my method of choice for treating atrophic stretch marks and atrophic scars that are not distensible. The procedure requires very little downtime—despite the fractional ablation of the epidermis—and it produces tangible results that are immediately visible. Within two sessions,
patients begin to see dramatic results. Patients with acne scars (distensible or not distensible) begin to see improvement after just a single treatment. Not distensible scarring requires additional sessions to achieve significant results.
Treatment with the iPixelRF system is contraindicated for areas contaminated by bacteria or viruses (e.g. herpes simplex). Depending on the thickness or depth of the stretch marks or scars, one or more treatments may be required.
For ablative procedures on the face, I prescribe prophylactic valacyclovir or acyclovir for herpes simplex beginning the night before treatment. On the day of the procedure—after washing the area to be treated with soap and water—I apply a topical anesthetic (lidocaine 23% with tetracaine 7%) and leave this in place for at least one hour. Afterwards, I wash the area again with soap and water, and apply alcohol or acetone to remove oils on the skin.