Current Dermatology Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 232–238 | Cite as

Accelerating Ablative Fractional Resurfacing Wound Healing Recovery by Photobiomodulation

  • Daniel BaroletEmail author
Laser Therapy (J Jagdeo, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Laser Therapy


Ablative cosmetic procedures are almost inevitably followed by an acute healing phase resulting in discomfort, erythema, edema, and crusting. Since patients are constantly asking for no downtime procedures, a considerable challenge to health care providers has resulted. Recently, photobiomodulation (PBM) with light-emitting diodes has attracted attention in wound healing management via its anti-inflammatory effects and increase in skin collagen production. PBM has been shown to promote wound healing processes both in vitro and in vivo at the epidermal and dermal levels in the skin. The combined favorable anti-inflammatory and collagen metabolism effects enhance collagenesis and elastinogenesis. A growing body of clinical evidence is showing that PBM, using 600–1000 nm light wavelengths, as soon as possible post-procedure and thereafter, successfully accelerates the acute healing phase via faster wound healing so as to reduce patient downtime. This article reviews that evidence and shows that PBM applied pre- and post-ablative fractional resurfacing treatment minimizes postoperative downtime enhancing patient satisfaction. It will hopefully become part of our rapidly expanding treatment armamentarium in order to ultimately improve patient care.


LED Light-emitting diodes Photobiomodulation Low level light therapy LLLT Ablative fractional resurfacing Erbium: YAG laser Photoprevention Complimentary treatment Wound healing Wound recovery Rejuvenation Rhytids Wrinkles Erythema Edema 



I am grateful to Greg Cormack for the careful proofreading and editing of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Daniel Barolet delares patented technology related to photobiomodulation using sequential pulsing modes.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

  1. 1.
    Branham GH, Thomas JR. Rejuvenation of the skin surface: chemical peel and dermabrasion. Facial Plast Surg. 1996;12(2):125–33.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nanni CA, Alster TS. Complications of carbon dioxide laser resurfacing. An evaluation of 500 patients. Dermatol Surg. 1998;24(3):315–20.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ortiz AE, Goldman MP, Fitzpatrick RE. Ablative CO2 lasers for skin tightening: traditional versus fractional. Dermatol Surg. 2014;40 Suppl 12:S147–51.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Barolet D. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in dermatology. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2008;27(4):227–38.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Calderhead RG et al. Adjunctive 830 nm light-emitting diode therapy can improve the results following aesthetic procedures. Laser Ther. 2015;24(4):277–89.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Barolet D et al. Regulation of skin collagen metabolism in vitro using a pulsed 660 nm LED light source: clinical correlation with a single-blinded study. J Invest Dermatol. 2009;129(12):2751–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Barolet D et al. Importance of pulsing illumination parameters in low-level-light therapy. J Biomed Opt. 2010;15(4):048005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Shoshani D et al. The modified Fitzpatrick Wrinkle Scale: a clinical validated measurement tool for nasolabial wrinkle severity assessment. Dermatol Surg. 2008;34 Suppl 1:S85–91. discussion S91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Avci P et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013;32(1):41–52.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Khoury JG, Goldman MP. Use of light-emitting diode photomodulation to reduce erythema and discomfort after intense pulsed light treatment of photodamage. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008;7(1):30–4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Alster TS, Wanitphakdeedecha R. Improvement of postfractional laser erythema with light-emitting diode photomodulation. Dermatol Surg. 2009;35(5):813–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Oh IY et al. Efficacy of light-emitting diode photomodulation in reducing erythema after fractional carbon dioxide laser resurfacing: a pilot study. Dermatol Surg. 2013;39(8):1171–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gupta A, Dai T, Hamblin MR. Effect of red and near-infrared wavelengths on low-level laser (light) therapy-induced healing of partial-thickness dermal abrasion in mice. Lasers Med Sci. 2014;29(1):257–65.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.••
    Kuffler Damien PD. Photobiomodulation in promoting wound healing: a review. Regen Med. 2016;11(1):107–22. Excellent review article pertaining to current photobiomodulation principles and applications.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bay C., D.T.-P., P.A.P. Anne-Cathrine Vissing, and M.H. Boncheol Leo Goo, Light-Emitting Diode (LED) therapy for post-treatment erythema after Ablative Fractional Laser-Assisted Photodynamic Therapy (AFXL-PDT): a randomized controlled trial. Lasers Surg Med. 2016;48(Suppl 27):43Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Barolet D, Boucher A. LED photoprevention: reduced MED response following multiple LED exposures. Lasers Surg Med. 2008;40(2):106–12.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Barolet D, Christiaens F, Hamblin MR. Infrared and skin: friend or foe. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2016;155:78–85.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.•
    Agrawal T et al. Pre-conditioning with low-level laser (light) therapy: light before the storm. Dose Response. 2014;12(4):619–49. Very good review article on the new prophylactic use of photobiomodulation.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Huang YY et al. Biphasic dose response in low level light therapy—an update. Dose Response. 2011;9(4):602–18.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Dermatology DivisionMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.RoseLab Skin Optics LaboratoryLavalCanada

Personalised recommendations