Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-90

Histological validity and clinical evidence for use of fractional lasers for acne scars


1 Department of Dermatology, Maulana Azad Medical College and Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Pathology, Maulana Azad Medical College and Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Kabir Sardana
466, Sector 28, Noida - 201 303, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2077.99431

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Though fractional lasers are widely used for acne scars, very little clinical or histological data based on the objective clinical assessment or the depth of penetration of lasers on in vivo facial tissue are available. The depth probably is the most important aspect that predicts the improvement in acne scars but the studies on histology have little uniformity in terms of substrate (tissue) used, processing and stains used. The variability of the laser setting (dose, pulses and density) makes comparison of the studies difficult. It is easier to compare the end results, histological depth and clinical results. We analysed all the published clinical and histological studies on fractional lasers in acne scars and analysed the data, both clinical and histological, by statistical software to decipher their significance. On statistical analysis, the depth was found to be variable with the 1550-nm lasers achieving a depth of 679 μm versus 10,600 nm (895 μm) and 2940 nm (837 μm) lasers. The mean depth of penetration (in μm) in relation to the energy used, in millijoules (mj), varies depending on the laser studied. This was statistically found to be 12.9-28.5 for Er:glass, 3-54.38 for Er:YAG and 6.28-53.66 for CO 2 . The subjective clinical improvement was a modest 46%. The lack of objective evaluation of clinical improvement and scar-specific assessment with the lack of appropriate in vivo studies is a case for combining conventional modalities like subcision, punch excision and needling with fractional lasers to achieve optimal results.


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