HealthDay News — Significant skin tightening can be achieved by immediate temporary noninvasive wound closure after short pulse Erbium (Er):YAG fractional ablative laser treatment or after mechanically removing skin with a coring needle, according to an animal study published online in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Elisabeth Russe, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues used a swine model (4  animals) to test the hypothesis that immediate temporary closure of fractional laser wounds could increase skin tightening after fractional ablative laser treatment. An ablative fractional Er:YAG laser was used to treat the 98 test sites.

The laser treatment consisted of a micro-spot fluence of 375 J/cm2 delivered in 150- to 250-microsecond pulses, resulting in an array of ablation channels extending 1.5 mm deep into the skin, with a spot size of 250 μm. After laser exposure, the resulting holes were closed using a stretched elastic adhesive dressing, which was removed after 7 days.

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This was compared to removing the same amount of skin by specially designed 19-gauge coring needles and to the same laser and coring methods without compression closure.

The researchers found that all treated and control sites healed within a week, without scarring evident at 28 days. At 28 days there was significant shrinkage with laser treatment combined with compressive wound closure compared with untreated control sites. The treated skin area was reduced by 11.5% (P = .0001).

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Similar significant shrinkage (8%) occurred with needle coring (P < .0021). However, laser and needle coring treatment without closure did not result in significant area reduction (P = .1289) compared with untreated control sites.

“Further clinical studies are necessary to confirm successful application in humans,” conclude the authors.

Three authors are inventors on patents related to this work, and one disclosed financial ties to Cytrellis Biosystems, which licensed intellectual property related to coring needle technology and hole closure.


Russe E, Purscke M, Limpiangkana W, et al. Significant skin-tightening by closure of fractional ablative laser holes [published online October 23, 2017]. Lasers Surg Med. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22748