Control of connective tissue metabolism by lasers: recent developments and future prospects

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1984 Dec;11(6):1142-50. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(84)80194-2.


Various laser modalities are currently in extensive use in dermatology and plastic surgery, particularly for treatment of vascular and pigmented lesions. A relatively new area of laser utilization involves the possible biologic effects of the lasers. In this overview, we are summarizing our recent studies, which indicate that lasers at specific wavelengths and energy densities modulate the connective tissue metabolism by skin fibroblasts both in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, the neodymium-yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd: YAG) laser was shown to selectively suppress collagen production both in fibroblast cultures and in normal skin in vivo, thus suggesting that this laser modality may be useful for the treatment of fibrotic conditions such as keloids and hypertrophic scars. Furthermore, two low-energy lasers, helium-neon (He-Ne) and gallium-arsenide (Ga-As), were shown to stimulate collagen production in human skin fibroblast cultures, suggesting that these lasers could be used for enhancement of wound healing processes. These experimental approaches illustrate the future possibilities for applying lasers for the modulation of various biologic functions of cells in tissues and attest to the potential role of lasers in the treatment of cutaneous disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Connective Tissue / metabolism*
  • Connective Tissue / radiation effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Keloid / radiotherapy
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Diseases / radiotherapy*


  • Collagen