Photobiomodulation with non-thermal lasers: Mechanisms of action and therapeutic uses in dermatology and aesthetic medicine

Mark Nestor, Anneke Andriessen, Brian Berman, Bruce E. Katz, Dore Gilbert, David J. Goldberg, Michael H. Gold, Robert Kirsner, Paul Z. Lorenc

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background: Non-thermal laser therapy in dermatology, is a growing field in medical technology by which therapeutic effects are achieved by exposing tissues to specific wavelengths of light. Objectives: The purpose of this review was to gain a better understanding of the science behind non-thermal laser and the evidence supporting its use in dermatology. Methods: A group of dermatologists and surgeons recently convened to review the evidence supporting the use of non-thermal laser for body sculpting, improving the appearance of cellulite, and treating onychomycosis. Results: The use of non-thermal laser for body sculpting is supported by three randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled studies (N = 161), one prospective open-label study (N = 54), and two retrospective studies (N = 775). Non-thermal laser application for improving the appearance of cellulite is supported by one randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled study (N = 38). The use of non-thermal laser for the treatment of onychomycosis is supported by an analysis of three non-randomized, open-label studies demonstrating clinical improvement of nails (N = 292). Conclusions: Non-thermal laser is steadily moving into mainstream medical practice, such as dermatology. Although present studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of non-thermal laser for body sculpting, cellulite reduction and onychomycosis treatment, studies demonstrating the efficacy of non-thermal laser as a stand-alone procedure are still inadequate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-198
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 19 2017

Keywords

  • acne
  • aesthetic dermatology
  • body sculpting
  • consensus panel
  • low-level light therapy
  • Non-thermal laser therapy
  • onychomycosis
  • photobiomodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

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