Novel use of erbium:YAG (2,940-nm) laser for fractional ablative photothermolysis in the treatment of photodamaged facial skin: a pilot study

Dermatol Surg. 2008 Aug;34(8):1048-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2008.34204.x. Epub 2008 May 6.


Background: The use of CO2 or conventional erbium laser ablation or more recent nonablative laser photothermolysis for skin rejuvenation is associated with significant disadvantages.

Objective: The objective was to assess the efficacy of the erbium:YAG laser (2,940 nm) using the "ablative" fractional resurfacing mode to improve photodamaged skin.

Methods: A total of 28 patients, 27 women and 1 man, aged 28 to 72 years (mean age, 54.2 years), with Fitzpatrick Skin Types II to IV, were treated for mild to moderate actinic damage using fractional erbium:YAG laser (2,940 nm) combined with Pixel technology. Sessions were scheduled at 4-week intervals. Response to treatment was evaluated by two physicians on a five-tiered scale.

Results: Patients underwent one to four treatment sessions (mean, 3.2). The initial reaction consisted of erythema and minimal swelling. On clinical assessment 2 months after the final treatment, the results were rated excellent by 21 patients (75%) and good by 7 (25%). Nineteen of the 21 were also evaluated 6 to 9 months after final treatment without any significant change in the results.

Conclusions: Fractional ablative photothermolysis using erbium:YAG laser (2,940 nm) is a promising option for skin resurfacing with reduced risk and downtime compared to existing laser methods.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Erythema / surgery*
  • Facial Dermatoses / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Lasers, Solid-State / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sunburn / surgery*