Nonablative fractional laser resurfacing for acne scarring in patients with Fitzpatrick skin phototypes IV-VI

Andrew F. Alexis, Marcelyn K. Coley, Rajiv I. Nijhawan, Janiene D. Luke, Sejal K. Shah, Yahya A. Argobi, Michael Nodzenski, Emir Veledar, Murad Alam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND There is a paucity of studies investigating laser resurfacing in Fitzpatrick skin phototypes (SPT) IV to VI. OBJECTIVE To assess the efficacy and safety of fractional nonablative laser resurfacing in the treatment of acne scarring in patients with SPT IV to VI. METHODS AND MATERIALS The authors conducted a randomized, investigator-blinded and rater-blinded, split-face comparative study of adults with SPT IV to VI and facial acne scars treated with 2 different density settings and the same fluence. RESULTS Quantitative global scarring grading system (QGSGS) scores were significantly improved from baseline at 16 and 24 weeks (p = .0277). Improvements in QGSGS scores after higher and lower density treatments were statistically similar (p = .96). The live-blinded dermatologist, the blinded dermatologist photoraters, and the patients rated scars as being significantly more improved by visual analog scale at weeks 16 and 24 compared with baseline (p > .001) for both treatment densities. Five of 7 and 3 of 7 patients in the higher and lower density group, respectively, experienced mild or moderate hyperpigmentation as an investigator observed site reaction. CONCLUSION The nonablative 1550-nm fractional laser is safe and efficacious in treating acne scaring in Fitzpatrick skin types IV to VI. Self-limited postinflammatory hyperpigmentation was a common occurrence, especially with higher treatment densities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-402
Number of pages11
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 23 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Surgery


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