HealthDay News — Early, single non-ablative fractional laser (NAFL) exposure can offer improvement in clinical scar appearance, according to a study published online in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Katrine E. Karmisholt, MD, from Bispebjerg University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues conducted a randomized intra-individual trial with erbium glass 1540 nm NAFL versus no laser treatment on 16 individuals receiving 10 standardized full thickness punch-biopsy wounds. One day before, immediately after, or 2 weeks after wounding, a single NAFL exposure was applied to test wounds.

The researchers found that, compared with untreated controls, application of NAFL treatment one day before, immediately after, or 2 weeks after wounding had the potential to offer subtle, but detectable, improvement in clinical scar appearance. 

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Compared with untreated controls, NAFL exposure one day before wounding induced improvement (Patient Observer Scar Assessment Scale [POSAS] total, median of 15 versus control median of 16; P =.03; visual analogue scale, median of 4.1 versus control median of 5.5; P =.03; medium fluence), as did NAFL exposure immediately and 2 weeks after wounding (POSAS total: P ≤.05, low fluence). NAFL-treated and control scars did not differ significantly in dyschromia. Subtle changes toward more mature interwoven bundles of collagen were seen in NAFL-treated scars versus controls.

“This study indicates that a single NAFL treatment at low to medium fluence performed one day prior, or in the early phases of wound healing, may have the potential to optimize scar formation in full thickness wounds,” the authors write.


Karmisholt KE, Wenande E, Thaysen-Petersen D, Philipsen PA, Paasch U, Haedersdal M. Early intervention with non-ablative fractional laser to improve cutaneous scarring—A randomized controlled trial on the impact of intervention time and fluence levels [published online August 16, 2017]. Lasers Surg Med. doi:10.1002/lsm.22707