Background and Objectives: Several soft-tissue augmentation materials are now available for reduction of nasolabial fold creases and perioral rhytides. Nasolabial folds and perioral rhytides can also be improved by skin tightening delivered by non-ablative radiofrequency (RF) treatment. The purpose of this study was to assess the safety of RF treatment over skin areas recently injected with medium-term injectable soft-tissue augmentation materials. Study Design/Materials and Methods: Five subjects were assigned to the experimental arm (augmentation materials plus RF) and one to the control arm (augmentation materials alone). Each subject received injections of 0.3 mL of hyaluronic acid derivative (Restylane) and calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) 3 cm apart on the upper inner arm. Two weeks later, two non-overlapping passes of RF (Thermage ThermaCool TC) were delivered at 63.5 setting with medium-fast 1.5 cm 2 tip over injected sites in all of the experimental subjects. Punch skin biopsies were obtained 3 days later from each of the two injection sites on each subject. Results: Light microscopy and digital photomicrographs obtained at low, medium, and high power showed no difference between filler materials in experimental and control subjects. In both cases filler was evident at the deep dermal-subcutaneous junction. Nodule formation, foreign body extravasation, or hemorrhage/clot was not observed grossly or histologically. Subjects and physicians did not report any difference in signs and symptoms between the experimental and control arms. Slightly increased transitory pain was noted when RF was delivered over filler versus over normal skin. Conclusion: Applying RF treatment over the same area 2 weeks after deep dermal injection with hyaluronic acid derivatives or calcium hydroxylapatite does not appear to cause gross morphological changes in the filler material or surrounding skin. Further studies with different parameters are necessary to confirm these findings.
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