An overview of lasers for the treatment of scars

Sonal Choudhary, Michael McLeod, Keyvan Nouri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Nearly every person will have at least one scar throughout his/her lifetime. Ablative lasers vaporize the epidermis and upper dermis, which causes collagen denaturation and contraction. They have the highest improvement rate but also the most complications and side effects. Nonablative lasers are used for more delicate procedures. The epidermis remains intact and injury is localized to the papillary and superficial portion of the reticular dermis. The degree of clinical effect is milder than ablative or fractional laser treatment, but the recovery time is much shorter than with ablative lasers. Fractional laser treatment with the 1550-nm erbium fiber laser was developed as a bridge between the ablative and nonablative lasers. Fractional photothermolysis creates many microscopic areas of thermal necrosis within the skin called microscopic treatment zones and has established itself as an alternative treatment to the conventional ablative and nonablative laser therapy for the treatment of scars. We review current laser technology for the treatment of scars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-320
Number of pages7
JournalCosmetic Dermatology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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