Background: Multiple modalities have been described for skin rejuvenation, including ablative and nonablative therapies. Because of the prolonged recovery period associated with ablative procedures that injure the epidermis, nonablative skin treatments have grown increasingly popular. Various laser- and light-based systems have been designed or applied for promoting skin remodeling without damage to the epidermis.
Methods: Studies investigating the use of nonablative procedures for facial rhytids or acne scarring with clinical, histological, and objective quantitative measurements are systematically reviewed.
Results: Nonablative treatments are associated with clinical and objective improvements for the treatment of facial rhytids and acne scarring. Dermal remodeling seems to occur as a result of thermal injury, leading to dermal fibrosis without epidermal disruption.
Conclusions: Although results are not as impressive as those of ablative treatments, nonablative procedures are effective in the treatment of photoaging and acne scarring. As technology in nonablative therapies continues to evolve, future laser and light sources may yield even more favorable results.