What Is It?
Heat therapy is an unproven therapy that is advertised to work by killing bacteria in the skin and promoting healing.
Strength of Evidence
Average 63% reduction in acne after 6 sessions
- Zeng, R. et al. A split-face comparison of a fractional microneedle radiofrequency device and fractional radiofrequency therapy for moderate-to-severe acne vulgaris. J Cosmet Dermatol 19, 2566–2571 (2020).
- Choi, J.-Y., Hwang, S. H., Yang, J. & Lee, G.-Y. Using a nonablative monopolar radiofrequency laser in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Dermatologica Sinica 37, 77 (2019).
- Bani, A., Hoxha, M. & Kondakciu, A. Phototherapy versus adapalene 0.1% gel in treatment of acne vulgaris. Journal of Pigmentary Disorders 04, (2017).
- Min, S., Park, S. Y., Yoon, J. Y. & Suh, D. H. Comparison of fractional microneedling radiofrequency and bipolar radiofrequency on acne and acne scar and investigation of mechanism: comparative randomized controlled clinical trial. Arch Dermatol Res 307, 897–904 (2015).
- Kaminaka, C., Uede, M., Matsunaka, H., Furukawa, F. & Yamamoto, Y. Clinical studies of the treatment of facial atrophic acne scars and acne with a bipolar fractional radiofrequency system. J Dermatol 42, 580–587 (2015).
- Yu, J. N. T. & Huang, P. Use of a TriPollar radio-frequency device for the treatment of acne vulgaris. J Cosmet Laser Ther 13, 50–53 (2011).
- Sadick, N. S., Laver, Z. & Laver, L. Treatment of mild-to-moderate acne vulgaris using a combined light and heat energy device: home-use clinical study. J Cosmet Laser Ther 12, 276–283 (2010).
- Prieto, V. G., Zhang, P. S. & Sadick, N. S. Evaluation of pulsed light and radiofrequency combined for the treatment of acne vulgaris with histologic analysis of facial skin biopsies. J Cosmet Laser Ther 7, 63–68 (2005).
- Elman, M. & Lask, G. The role of pulsed light and heat energy (LHE) in acne clearance. J Cosmet Laser Ther 6, 91–95 (2004).
Low side effects and adverse reactions
Acne.org's Real World Take
Based on many people's experiences here on Acne.org, heat therapy doesn't seem to help whatsoever. In fact, it sometimes makes a lesion more noticeable. Most companies have stopped making the devices.