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Photoaging and the clinical utility of fractional laser

Authors Borges J, Manela-Azulay M, Cuzzi Teichner T

Received 18 October 2015

Accepted for publication 23 December 2015

Published 5 May 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 107—114

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CCID.S77996

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jeffrey Weinberg


Juliano Borges,1,2 Mônica Manela-Azulay,1,2 Tullia Cuzzi1,2

1Instituto de Dermatologia Professor Rubem David Azulay, Santa Casa de Misericórdia do Rio de Janeiro, 2Serviço de Anatomia Patológica da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Abstract: The description of atomic structure by Niels Bohr set the basis for the emergence of quantum physics. Based on these fundamentals, Einstein published in 1917 a paper on the amplification of energy by Stimulated Emission of Radiation as part of his quantum theories. In 1955, Townes and Gordon turned Einstein's theories into practice, creating a coherent and amplified microwave device using ammonia gas in an optical medium. But it was at the beginning of the 1980s, that Anderson and Parrish published an article about the selective photothermolysis model which revolutionized clinical practice. The use of laser in photoaging began with CO2 (10,600 nm). In 1989, it was first used for resurfacing of a face with prominent photoaging. Ablative lasers have therefore had great popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, but prolonged postoperative time and significant risk of side effects have lowered the acceptance by patients. In 2004, the description of the fractionated radiation for the treatment of photoaging, by Mainstein, represented a great event. The stimulation of collagen occurred through fractional laser beams, which would reach the selected area while saving islands of sound skin. These islands accelerated the process of cicatrization of the treated tissue and shortened the postprocedure time. Furthermore, the fractionated radiation presented a smaller range of side effects, increasing the safety of the procedure. As mentioned earlier, as fractional lasers incise on the skin, they leave islands of healthy skin that accelerate recovery, while generating necrosis columns. Such necrosis columns remove damaged extracellular matrix material, allowing resettlement of fibroblasts. Such resettled fibroblasts, under the influence of a new tensile strength, restart to produce structures for extracellular matrix, such as collagen, elastin, and proteoglycans, in a more physiological way. Fractional lasers are considered by many dermatologists as the best choice in laser therapy for the treatment of photoaging.

Keywords: fractional laser, photoaging, collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid

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