Patient Story 02

Procedure performed by Dr. Atula Gupta (Gurgaon, India)

Patient Description

R. Malhotra, 27-year-old unmarried female had suffered from nodulocystic acne for many years which led to grade 4 severe atrophic predominantly ice pick scars on face. She had low self esteem and suffered from anxiety and depression. Her parents were concerned that the scars on her face were lowering her confidence which affected her personal relationships and productivity at work.

Treatment Performed

We counseled the patient to undergo treatment with fractional microneedle radiofrequency considering the type of her scars and the unwillingness to undergo any procedure with a longer downtime. Patient was treated with 6 sessions of Microneedle fractional radiofrequency (MNRF) at an interval of 6-8 weeks each. Patient also underwent 2 sessions of subcision with 21 g needle during separate visits.

Treatment Outcome

The patient was examined 1 month after the last session of MNRF and around 10 months after her first consultation. There was a reduction in her scar grade (Goodman Baron grading scale) from grade 4 to grade 1. Post procedure downtime in our patient (skin type 4) was between 2-3 days and according to the patient, the treatment was comfortable.


Microneedle fractional radiofrequency (RF) is a procedure which has high subject satisfaction in the treatment of acne scars. The crucial benefit that this technology offers over fractional ablative lasers is the low downtime, absence of the risk of pigmentary complications in dark skin patients and results equivalent to fractional ablative lasers especially in icepick scars. When compared to non-ablative fractional lasers, fractional RF has deeper depth of penetration, therefore better scar attenuation.

Further, RF being a color-blind technology is practical and safe in skin of color and can be considered first line in treating all kinds of atrophic acne scars. Severe atrophic acne scarring is the most common facial scar pathology leading to low self-esteem, mental stress, depression and suicidal tendencies. Acne scars should and can be treated with a combination of lasers, energy devices and minor surgical interventions to help patients gain self-confidence and positivity.