Effects of Energy-Based Devices on HA Filler

Heat-Based Devices and Dermal Fillers

A study using abdominoplasty skin samples revealed that the heat of fractional microneedle radiofrequency (RF) devices can cause thermal damage to hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers. For “Histologic Effects of Fractional Laser and Radiofrequency Devices on Hyaluronic Acid Filler,” published in the April issue of Dermatologic Surgery, Sarah Ham Hsu, MD, Hye Jin Chung, MD, MMS, and Robert Weiss, MD, divided abdominoplasty skin samples into eight zones. They injected HA filler intradermally into seven zones with one zone left untreated to act as control. Following injection, six of the zones were treated with a 1,540nm, 1,550nm, 1927nm or 10,600nm fractional laser, or fractional bipolar RF delivered through insulated microneedles or fractional bipolar RF delivered through noninsulated microneedles. After treatment, biopsies were collected for H&E (Haemotoxylin and Eosin) staining.

There were no morphologic changes to the filler following treatment with 1,540nm, 1,550nm, 1927nm and 10,600nm lasers. Though the researchers did observe thermal changes from the 1,540nm and 1,550nm lasers in very close proximity to the filler. Both RF devices caused thermal damage of the filler along the microneedle tracks. The authors concluded that the deeper dermal penetration of the RF energy will cause damage to fillers in the mid to deep dermis, and advised caution in using these devices over recently injected HA fillers.

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