To investigate the efficacy of 1550-nm (Fraxel SR1500 RE:Store; Solta Medical, Hayward, California) nonablative laser treatment of facial surgical scars.
In this prospective clinical study, a volunteer sample of 13 adults with Fitzpatrick skin types I to III and facial surgical scars with a postoperative duration longer than 6 months were enrolled. Subjects were treated once every 4 weeks for a total of 4 treatments. Initial settings for the 1550-nm nonablative laser were at energy level 40 mJ and treatment level 4 and were subsequently increased on each visit according to the patients' tolerance level. Using a previously validated Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS), the study subject and an independent evaluator completed assessments of the scar at each visit.
According to the Friedman test on ratings across all occasions after the first treatment to the last evaluation, there was a statistically significant improvement in the patient's assessment of the color, stiffness, thickness, and irregularity of the scar but not for pain or itching. For the observer's ratings, there was a statistically significant improvement in pigmentation, thickness, relief, and pliability but not for vascularization.
Preliminary data suggest improved aesthetic results, demonstrating the potential use of fractional photothermolysis as a scar revision technique. Future studies with a longer follow-up period could elucidate the role of fractional photothermolysis in more permanent scar improvements.