Radiofrequency Microneedling: A Comprehensive and Critical Review

Marcus G. Tan, Christine E. Jo, Anne Chapas, Shilpi Khetarpal, Jeffrey S. Dover

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Many studies have evaluated radiofrequency microneedling (RFMN) in various dermatologic conditions. However, the efficacy and safety of RFMN, and how it compares with other energy-based devices in a clinician's armamentarium, remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: To review higher-quality evidence supporting RFMN and the dermatologic conditions which it can be used in. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A search was conducted in MEDLINE and EMBASE from inception to May 13, 2020, using the terms: "radiofrequency microneedling" OR "fractional radiofrequency" OR "radiofrequency needling" OR "radiofrequency percutaneous collagen induction." Only randomized, split body or blinded studies with original data on humans were included. Non-English or non-dermatology-related studies were excluded. RESULTS: Forty-two higher-quality studies were included after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. There were 14 studies for skin rejuvenation, 7 for acne scars, 6 for acne vulgaris, 5 each for striae and axillary hyperhidrosis, 2 for melasma, and 1 each for rosacea, cellulite, and androgenetic alopecia. CONCLUSION: Radiofrequency microneedling is an effective intervention that can be used repeatedly and safely in combination with other treatment modalities and in individuals with darker skin phototypes. Radiofrequency microneedling-induced dermal remodeling and neocollagenesis are slow and progressive but continue to improve even 6 months after treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-761
Number of pages7
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021


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