1. Fractional Laser Therapy Benefits Acne Scar.
Non-ablative 1,540nm fractional laser therapy improves atrophic acne scars with a low rate of adverse events, a recent trial showed. Ten patients participated in the study, which involved selection of two areas of similar size within contralateral anatomic regions per patient, randomly treated with laser (three monthly sessions) or no therapy. Investigators deemed treated scars more even and smooth than controls. Five of 10 patients rated treated scars as moderately or significantly improved. Patients experienced transient moderate pain, erythema, edema, bullae, and crusts. (Lasers in Medical Science, online June 17)

2. Lasers for Melasma Better After Topical Therapy.
Subjective assessments suggest that 1064nm, Q-switched Nd:YAG laser therapy provides better efficacy when provided after topical triple combination therapy rather than before. In a recent study, 13 patients received topical therapy for eight weeks on one side of the face and 1064nm, Q-switched Nd:YAG laser therapy on the other. At the end of eight weeks, treatments were switched. After 16 weeks, subjective scores were higher for the side of the face treated with laser after topical therapy. (Dermatol Surgery 36(6):909-918)

3. Excimer Laser Improves Vitiligo.
Twice-weekly treatment (30 treatments total) with the 308nm excimer laser is safe and effective for treatment of vitiligo, new data suggest. Treatment may be most effective for lesions on the face/neck and trunk. In the study, 61.4 percent of patients had greater than 75 percent repigmentation; 9.1 percent had 51-75 percent repigmentation; 22.7 percent had 26-50 percent repigmentation; and 6.8 percent had 25 percent repigmentation or less. Response rates were better on the face/neck (74.1 percent) and trunk (100 percent). (Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine 26(3):138-42)

4. Radiofrequency Treatments Modify Skin Elasticity.
Objective measures of mechanical skin properties suggest beneficial effects of bipolar radiofrequency treatment. Compared to baseline measures, elastometry measures were significantly improved three months after RF treatment, with increases in elasticity and decreases in retraction time. Average improvement correlated to a 2.6-year improvement in skin properties. (Dermatol Surgery 36(6):877-884)

5. Fractional Radiofrequency Improves Skin Laxity.
Minimally invasive fractional radiofrequency (FRF) treatment provides about one-third the improvement of skin laxity that surgical facelifts provide without adverse effects or complications of surgery. A blinded evaluation of baseline and post-treatment photos revealed an average 49 percent improvement in skin laxity for surgery and a 16 percent improvement for FRF. Surgery earned a mean 1.20-grade improvement on the four-point laxity grading scale; FRF earned a mean 0.44-grade improvement (37 percent of the score for surgery). (Arch Dermatol 146(4):396-405)