Wound healing studies require standardised methods for evaluating wounding and skin repair. Our study aimed to demonstrate the suitability of the erbium-YAG (Er-YAG) laser method to produce reliable epidermal lesions for evaluation of different skin repair creams. Skin de-epidermised by Er-YAG laser (four uniform epidermal ablations, area 8 × 8mm, in 21 healthy subjects) was treated with a product (A) containing Avena Rhealba(®) extract and hyaluronic acid and assessed for epidermal regeneration and barrier restoration. This treatment was compared to two reference products (B) and (C) and an untreated control. Over 22 days of treatment, double-blind measurements of wound characteristics were made for instrumental (wound surface area, barrier restoration, 3D skin topography) and clinical evaluation (lesion quality and tolerance). Tested product (A) resulted in a shorter time (9 days) and faster rate of wound closure than product C (12 days) and the untreated zone (16 days). Results for products (A) and (B) were similar. Clinical evaluation of lesion quality showed the same trends as the wound area/closure parameter. Barrier recovery assessments revealed that all three products showed a similar rate of decreasing Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL), which was significantly faster than the rate for the control. In conclusion, the laser-induced epidermal wound model provided standardised lesions, enabling discrimination between different topical skin repair products.
Keywords: epidermis; erbium; laser; skin abrasion; wound healing.