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[4 min read] Does laser therapy reduce scarring during wound healing?

Can laser therapy help to reduce the appearance of scars during wound healing? Recently, various lasers have increasingly been applied during wound healing to minimise scar formation; however, no consensus regarding treatment procedures exists.

A new study assessed scar formation clinically after three non-ablative fractional laser exposures, targeting the inflammation, proliferation and remodelling wound healing phases in patients versus untreated controls.

A randomised controlled trial was performed using a split‐wound design to assess excisional wound halves treated with 1540‐nm non-ablative fractional laser versus no laser treatment. Three non-ablative fractional laser exposures were provided: immediately before surgery, at suture removal and six weeks after surgery. Non-ablative fractional laser exposures were applied using two hand pieces, sequentially distributing energy deeply and more superficially in the skin (40–50 mJ per microbeam).

Thirty patients completed the trial. At three-month follow-up, non-ablative fractional laser-treated scar halves showed improvement compared with the untreated control halves. The non-ablative fractional laser-treated halves had an enhanced appearance and were significantly less red and more pliable, and presented with smoother relief than the untreated controls.

Non-ablative fractional laser-treated scars were rated as superior to untreated scars by 21 of 29 patients.

The results of this study suggested that non-ablative fractional laser-treated scars showed subtle improvement compared with untreated control scars.

Read more research on laser therapy.

Source: Karmisholt, K. , Banzhaf, C. , Glud, M. , Yeung, K. , Paasch, U. , Nast, A. and Haedersdal, M. (2018), Laser treatments in early wound healing improve scar appearance: a randomized split‐wound trial with nonablative fractional laser exposures vs. untreated controls. Br J Dermatol, 179: 1307-1314. doi:10.1111/bjd.17076

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