Study Shows Laser’s Effects On Filler

A new study published in the April issue of Dermatologic Surgery has demonstrated the effects that various laser rejuvenation treatments can have on hyaluronic acid fillers.

“Histologic Effects of Fractional Laser and Radiofrequency Devices on Hyaluronic Acid Filler” has confirmed that fractional microneedle radiofrequency (RF) devices can cause thermal damage to HA fillers, conducting tests on abdominoplasty skin samples.

Dividing abdominoplasty skin samples into eight sections, Sarah Ham Hsu, MD, Hye Jin Chung, MD, MMS, and Robert Weiss, MD, administered HA filler intradermally into seven zones, leaving the eighth as the untreated control, and proceeded to treat six of the sections with a 1,540nm, 1,550nm, 1927nm or 10,600nm fractional laser, fractional bipolar RF delivered through insulated microneedles, or fractional bipolar RF delivered through non-insulated microneedles. Biopsies were then collected for H&E (Haemotoxylin and Eosin) staining.

Results showed no morphologic change to the fillers after treatment with 1,540, 1,550, 1927, and 10,600nm, though thermal changes after 1,540 and 1,550nm lasers were recorded in very close proximity to the filler.

However, both RF devices resulted in thermal damage to the filler along the microneedle tracks, and authors concluded that RF energy’s deeper level of dermal penetration will result in damage to fillers administered to the mid to lower dermis.

Study authors thereby advise caution to practitioners wanting to use microneedle RF over recently injected filler. Authors also note that study limitations obviously include testing on non-facial skin and lack of inflammatory response.

Currently here in Australia, it is common practice for most practitioners to advise clients to wait several weeks after filler before receiving any laser resurfacing, hair removal, chemical peels or microneedling treatments. Most advise anywhere between 2-6 weeks, depending on treatment type, and varying noticeably between clinics/practitioners.

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