The charts below show the chances of developing various side effects from ablative non-fractional lasers.3,5,9-13 For some side effects, we currently do not have enough data to provide a percentage.
Certain/Likely Side Effects (% = Incidence)
|SHORT TERM Skin redness (erythema)*||up to 100%|
|SHORT TERM Crusting||up to 100%|
|SHORT TERM Itching (pruritus)||up to 57%|
|SHORT TERM Skin darkening (hyperpigmentation)**||18% to 45.5%|
|SHORT TERM Mild to moderate acne flare-up||9% to 32%|
|SHORT TERM Infection||up to 20%|
*Skin redness (erythema): Skin redness is a typical reaction to ablative non-fractional laser treatment. After Er:YAG non-fractional laser treatment, skin redness lasts 1 month on average and normally disappears completely in 3 months. After CO2 non-fractional laser treatment, skin redness may last from 6 weeks to 3 months.5,9,11
**Skin darkening (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation): Skin darkening may occur in all skin types but is more common in patients with darker skin. It may begin 3-4 weeks after laser treatment and may persist for up to 3 months.5
Possible/Rare Side Effects
|LONG TERM Clogged sweat glands (milia)||12% fo 14%|
|SHORT TERM or LONG TERM Prolonged skin redness (erythema)*||4% to 9.1%|
|SHORT TERM or LONG TERM Skin lightening (hypopigmentation)||4% to 8%|
|SHORT TERM or LONG TERM Persistent skin darkening (hyperpigmentation)**||up to 4.5%|
|SHORT TERM or LONG TERM Raised (keloid) scars†||incidence not known|
*Prolonged skin redness (erythema): Prolonged skin redness is defined as redness that lasts over 3 months.3,11,13
**Persistent skin darkening (hyperpigmentation): Persistent skin darkening is defined as skin darkening that lasts over 3 months.11
†Raised (keloid) scars: The likelihood of developing raised scars may depend on the specific laser settings. Patients with a history of keloid scarring are more likely to develop keloid scars as a side effect of ablative non-fractional laser treatment.3
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