Background: There is a paucity of studies investigating laser resurfacing in Fitzpatrick skin phototypes (SPT) IV to VI.
Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of fractional nonablative laser resurfacing in the treatment of acne scarring in patients with SPT IV to VI.
Methods and materials: The authors conducted a randomized, investigator-blinded and rater-blinded, split-face comparative study of adults with SPT IV to VI and facial acne scars treated with 2 different density settings and the same fluence.
Results: Quantitative global scarring grading system (QGSGS) scores were significantly improved from baseline at 16 and 24 weeks (p = .0277). Improvements in QGSGS scores after higher and lower density treatments were statistically similar (p = .96). The live-blinded dermatologist, the blinded dermatologist photoraters, and the patients rated scars as being significantly more improved by visual analog scale at weeks 16 and 24 compared with baseline (p < .001) for both treatment densities. Five of 7 and 3 of 7 patients in the higher and lower density group, respectively, experienced mild or moderate hyperpigmentation as an investigator observed site reaction.
Conclusion: The nonablative 1550-nm fractional laser is safe and efficacious in treating acne scaring in Fitzpatrick skin types IV to VI. Self-limited postinflammatory hyperpigmentation was a common occurrence, especially with higher treatment densities.