Nonablative laser improves appearance of old scars

September 17, 2014

A nonablative fractional laser improves the appearance of mature burn scars, according to results of a recent study.

A nonablative fractional laser improves the appearance of mature burn scars, according to results of a recent study.

Investigators with the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, evaluated the clinical and histological long-term outcome of the 1,540 nm fractional Er:Glass laser on superficial and deep components of mature burn scars, according to the study abstract. In 17 patients, the researchers examined side-by-side scar areas that were randomized to either untreated control or three monthly nonablative fractional laser treatments with superficial and extra-deep handpieces. The patients had normotrophic (n=11), hypertrophic (n=5) and atrophic (n=1) scarring.

Patients were followed-up at one, three and six months. The primary outcome was improvement in overall scar appearance on a modified Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (mPOSAS, 1=normal skin, 10=worst imaginable scar). Secondary outcomes included histology, patient satisfaction (0-10), patient-assessed improvement and safety.

Scar appearance in scars treated with the laser improved (P=0.001 versus untreated) and histology at six months supported collagen remodeling, according to the study. Improvement to scar appearance was continuous during the postoperative period (mPOSAS baseline: 7 [5-8], six months: 4 [3-5] P=0.001). Patients reported satisfaction with treatment at six months, and 82 percent reported improvements to scar texture.

The laser treatments caused mild-to-moderate pain, and adverse events included discrete erythema, hyperpigmentation and imprints from laser grid. None of the patients reported a worsening of scar appearance.

The study findings were published online in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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