Treatment of Scars with Laser-Assisted Delivery of Growth Factors and Vitamin C: A Comparative, Randomised, Double-blind, Early Clinical Trial

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2021 Oct;45(5):2363-2374. doi: 10.1007/s00266-021-02232-4. Epub 2021 Apr 21.


Background: Scarring can jeopardize the final result of plastic surgeries. Deep dermal injuries activate dermal fibroblasts that produce excessive amount of collagen and inflammatory cytokines and growth factors, which contributes to increased fibrous tissue and scarring tissue formation.

Objectives: The aim of this early study, double-blind, prospective, randomised clinical trial was to investigate the use of laser-assisted drug delivery (LADD) for scar improvement to support the establishment of LADD as standard therapy modality and to indicate suitable drugs for dermal administration.

Material and methods: In total, 132 patients seeking scar treatment were consented and randomised. The control group (64 patients) received laser resurfacing immediately followed by skin surface application of Vitamin C and 68 patients received laser treatment followed by skin surface application of a cosmeceutical containing growth factors (GFs) and Vitamin C. Photographs were obtained before and three months after the procedure and submitted to three-dimensional reconstruction by the software Dermapix®. Objective measurements provided by the software were statistically analysed and established the differences in the treatment result between the two groups.

Results: There was a significant reduction in scar roughness and volume in both groups (p < 0.01). Mann-Whitney test confirmed that the group treated vitamin C and GFs presented significantly better results than the group treated with vitamin C alone (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: LADD has proven efficient as scars were reduced in both study groups. Furthermore, the addition of growth factors provided statistically significant better outcomes and resulted in more inconspicuous scars. No adverse reactions were observed.

Clinical trial registration: Plataforma Brasil under the number CAAE: 63710716.2.0000.5664.

Level of evidence ii: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these evidence-based medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors .

Keywords: Growth factors; Laser-assisted drug delivery; Scar treatment; Scars; Vitamin C.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid*
  • Cicatrix* / drug therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Esthetics
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Ascorbic Acid