Radiofrequency (RF) and radiofrequency microneedling (RFM) for rhytides, scarring, and skin rejuvenation are believed to have a lower risk of postprocedural dyspigmentation in darker skin types.
To explore the safety and efficacy of RF and RFM in Fitzpatrick skin Types III to VI.
METHODS AND MATERIALS
A systematic review of PubMed/MEDLINE databases from 2000 to 2021 using combinations of the terms radiofrequency, microneedling, skin of color, and Fitzpatrick was performed. Exclusion criteria included non-Fitzpatrick skin Types III-VI patient population, nonprimary articles, nonskin radiofrequency, and nonhuman studies.
Thirty-five articles addressing the use of RF or RFM in skin of color were identified—22 for skin rejuvenation, 7 for acne scars, 4 for nonacne scars, 1 for hyperpigmentation, and 1 for acne treatment. Seven studies noted transient postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, 1 observed mild prolonged hyperpigmentation, and only 1 study reported permanent scarring.
Radiofrequency and RFM seem to have a low risk of scarring or hyperpigmentation in skin of color. This review demonstrates that these procedures have been successfully used primarily for rhytides, acne scarring, and skin rejuvenation. However, a large proportion of the studies lack strong quality evidence.