Compared with the use of nonablative fractional photothermolysis lasers, ablative fractional photothermolysis lasers may be more efficacious while requiring fewer treatments; however, the procedure offers greater risks and side effects, according to recent research.
Michael Ong, MSc, and colleagues investigated the effectiveness of both ablative and nonablative fractional photothermolysis (FP) lasers for the treatment of facial acne scars through the review of 26 published studies. The researchers’ main outcomes were subjective and objective scar appearance assessment, pre- and postoperative treatment, side effects, pain scores and patients’ level of satisfaction. Their findings were presented in a poster at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
According to the researchers, clinical assessment demonstrated a greater range of improvement for patients treated with ablative FP compared with those treated with nonablative FP (26% to 83% vs. 26% to 50%) within a shorter amount of time.
However, despite better effectiveness, adverse events related to treatment with ablative FP were also greater. Patients treated with ablative FP experienced erythmia for 3 to 14 days, resolving by week 12, compared with patients treated with nonablative FP who experienced erythmia for only 1 to 3 days, with full resolution within a week.
Additionally, a larger number of patients experienced postinflammatory hyperpigmentation after treatment with ablative FP (up to 92.3%) compared with those treated with nonablative FP (up to 13%). Pain score ranges, measured on a scale of one to 10, were also higher for patients who received ablative FP (5.9-8.1 vs. 3.9-5.66), the researchers wrote.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
For more information:
Ong M. Abstract #4757. Presented at: The 70th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. March 16-20, 2012. San Diego, Calif.