New Study Shows Impact Of Skin Hydration In Laser Treatments

The study sought to answer the fundamental question: how does skin hydration affect the outcomes of laser procedures?

A recent preclinical study has delved into the intricacies of how variations in skin hydration influence the efficacy and safety of laser treatments, particularly the use of ablative fractional lasers (AFLs). Titled “Impact of skin hydration on patterns of microthermal injury produced by fractional CO2 laser,” this study, led by Emily Wenande, MD, PhD, marks a significant stride in our understanding of the laser-skin dynamic.

Published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM), the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS), this December 2023 Editor’s Choice piece has gained attention for its meticulous exploration of the topic.

Dr. Wenande, a Danish-American post-doctoral researcher and physician-scientist at the Department of Dermatology, Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, embarked on this journey to unravel the enigma of skin hydration’s impact on laser treatments.

“During my PhD years, a question that kept my curiosity chronically piqued was how much skin hydration affected my results,” Dr. Wenande revealed. “The question seemed so fundamental that it bordered on the banal. Discovering how few studies were available on the topic left me surprised – and determined to change that.”

Histological analysis and optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging were the tools of choice in investigating the impact of skin hydration on microchannel dimensions produced by a fractional CO2 laser.

The findings revealed that both hyperhydration and dehydration were pivotal players, reducing depths of laser ablation and thermal impact compared to the normohydrated control skin.

While the thermal effects of fractional CO2 laser remained relatively consistent under standard conditions, the study highlighted the significance of deviations in skin hydration, particularly in clinical scenarios where skin conditions deviate significantly from the norm, such as scars or dry, hyperkeratotic lesions.

Dr. Wenande, a former research fellow of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, has expressed her commitment to advancing dermatological research.

Her ongoing work on laser-assisted drug delivery (LADD) and experimental treatment approaches for keratinocyte carcinoma aims to contribute to the development of simple, efficacious, and tolerable treatments for premalignant and malignant skin lesions. In a field where precision and predictability are paramount, Dr. Wenande’s work holds promise for refining laser-based dermatological procedures and enhancing patient outcomes.

Read the full study here.

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