Quantitative evaluation of skin shrinkage associated with non-invasive skin tightening: a simple method for reproducible linear measurement using microtattoos

Murad Alam*, Marisa Pongprutthipan, Shivani Nanda, Natalie A. Kim, Jillian H. Swary, Wanjarus Roongpisuthipong, Arielle N. Kauvar, Alexandra Weil, Sanjana Iyengar, Brian R. Chen, Jelena Vasic, Amanda Maisel, Dennis P. West, Michael Nodzenksi, Emir Veledar, Emily Poon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Non-invasive skin-tightening devices can induce thermal denaturation and skin shrinkage via externally applied radiofrequency emissions or high-frequency ultrasound. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to develop and test a method for measurement of skin reduction associated with application of such energy devices. Twenty-five healthy participants with mild to moderate skin laxity of the arms were enrolled. Pinpoint microtattoos were placed at each of the treatment sites to delineate two 6 × 12 cm rectangles per subject. A non-stretchable filament, tape and marking pen apparatus was used to measure the size of each rectangle before treatment and at follow-up visit by two blinded investigators. After randomization, one side received a single pass with a radiofrequency device (6.78 MHz), while the contralateral side received multiple passes. Participants underwent two treatment sessions to each side 2 weeks apart, and returned for follow-up 4 weeks after the second treatment. Length and area measurement were analyzed to assess precision and accuracy of measurements and to compare efficacy of treatment between pre- and post-treatment. Concordance correlation coefficients (CCC) demonstrated substantial inter-investigator reliability and precision in length measurements (CCC, 0.94 to 0.98 in pre-treatment; 0.95 to 0.98 in post-treatment). Measurements at the 6-week post-treatment follow-up demonstrated a statistically significant skin reduction in all six of the measured parameters. A simple skin measurement method requiring minimal instrumentation can quantitatively evaluate skin shrinkage associated with non-invasive skin-tightening devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-709
Number of pages7
JournalLasers in Medical Science
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Keywords

  • Measurement
  • Microtattoo
  • Non-invasive
  • Skin laxity
  • Skin tightening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

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