Non-ablative Fractional Laser

Compare To Other Treatments

What Is It?

Non-ablative lasers are less invasive but also less effective than ablative lasers. Non-ablative fractional lasers shine a focused beam of light at the skin in a fractional (dot-matrix) pattern, leaving the skin intact, while stimulating collagen and elastin production over time.

Good or Excellent Response

Strength of Evidence
46% of patients achieved a good (>50%) or excellent (>75%) improvement in scarring after 1 - 6 sessions

Moderate Response

Strength of Evidence
80% of patients achieved at least a moderate (>25%) improvement in scarring after 1 - 6 sessions
  1. Shi, Y., Jiang, W., Li, W., Zhang, W. & Zou, Y. Comparison of fractionated frequency-doubled 1,064/532 nm picosecond Nd:YAG lasers and non-ablative fractional 1,540 nm Er: glass in the treatment of facial atrophic scars: a randomized, split-face, double-blind trial. Ann Transl Med 9, 862 (2021).
  2. Manuskiatti, W., Punyaratabandhu, P., Tantrapornpong, P., Yan, C. & Cembrano, K. A. G. Objective and long-term evaluation of the efficacy and safety of a 1064-nm picosecond laser with fractionated microlens array for the treatment of atrophic acne scar in Asians. Lasers Surg Med 53, 899–905 (2021).
  3. Lee, C. H., Jin, E. M., Seo, H. S., Ryu, T.-U. & Hong, S. P. Efficacy and safety of treatment with fractional 1,064-nm picosecond laser with diffractive optic element for wrinkles and acne scars: a clinical study. Ann Dermatol 33, 254–262 (2021).
  4. Zhang, M., Fang, J., Wu, Q. & Lin, T. Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of a picosecond alexandrite laser with DLA for acne scars in Chinese patients. Lasers Surg Med 52, 176–181 (2020).
  5. Yang, C.-S. et al. A prospective study of fractionated dual-wavelength picosecond laser in treating acne scar. Lasers Surg Med 52, 735–742 (2020).
  6. Wen, X., Li, Y., Hamblin, M. R. & Jiang, X. A randomized split-face, investigator-blinded study of a picosecond Alexandrite laser for post-inflammatory erythema and acne scars. Dermatol Ther 33, e13941 (2020).
  7. Wang, B. et al. Efficacy of non-ablative fractional 1440-nm laser therapy for treatment of facial acne scars in patients with rosacea: a prospective, interventional study. Lasers Med Sci (2020) doi:10.1007/s10103-020-03107-x.
  8. Mehrabi, J. N., Friedman, O., Al-Niaimi, F. & Artzi, O. Retrospective photographic review of nontattoo indications treated by picosecond laser. J Cosmet Dermatol 19, 612–621 (2020).
  9. Kwon, H. H. et al. Comparison of a 1064-nm neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet picosecond laser using a diffractive optical element vs. a nonablative 1550-nm erbium-glass laser for the treatment of facial acne scarring in Asian patients: a 17-week prospective, randomized, split-face, controlled trial. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol (2020) doi:10.1111/jdv.16643.
  10. Gamal, A., Nada, E., Ibrahim, H. & Mohamed, E. Erbium-YAG laser alone versus erbium-YAG laser with platelet rich plasma in treatment of atrophic acne scars. (2020).
  11. Chayavichitsilp, P., Limtong, P., Triyangkulsri, K. & Pratumchart, N. Comparison of fractional neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) 1064-nm picosecond laser and fractional 1550-nm erbium fiber laser in facial acne scar treatment. Lasers Med Sci 35, 695–700 (2020).
  12. Cannarozzo, G. et al. A new 675-nm laser device in the treatment of acne scars: an observational study. Lasers Med Sci (2020) doi:10.1007/s10103-020-03063-6.
  13. Koren, A. et al. Efficacy of a combination of diluted calcium hydroxylapatite-based filler and an energy-based device for the treatment of facial atrophic acne scars. Clin Exp Dermatol 44, e171–e176 (2019).
  14. Huang, C.-H., Chern, E., Peng, J.-H. & Hsien-Li Peng, P. Noninvasive atrophic acne scar treatment in asians with a 755-nm picosecond laser using a diffractive optic lens-a retrospective photographic review. Dermatol Surg 45, 195–202 (2019).
  15. El-Taieb, M. A. et al. Fractional erbium-YAG laser and platelet-rich plasma as single or combined treatment for atrophic acne scars: a randomized clinical trial. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb) 9, 707–717 (2019).
  16. Tantrapornpong, P. & Sirithanabadeekul, P. Efficacy and safety of using a fractional picosecond 1064-nm laser for treatment of atrophic acne scars in Asian skin types. Thai Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 42, 180–184 (2018).
  17. Elsaie, M. L., Ibrahim, S. M. & Saudi, W. Ablative fractional 10 600 nm carbon dioxide laser versus non-ablative fractional 1540 nm erbium-glass laser in Egyptian post-acne scar patients. J Lasers Med Sci 9, 32–35 (2018).
  18. Gokalp, H. Evaluation of nonablative fractional laser treatment in scar reduction. Lasers Med Sci 32, 1629–1635 (2017).
  19. You, H.-J., Kim, D.-W., Yoon, E.-S. & Park, S.-H. Comparison of four different lasers for acne scars: resurfacing and fractional lasers. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg 69, e87-95 (2016).
  20. Yang, Q. et al. Efficacy and safety of 1550-nm fractional laser in the treatment of acne scars in Chinese patients: a split-face comparative study. J Cosmet Laser Ther 18, 312–316 (2016).
  21. Cachafeiro, T., Escobar, G., Maldonado, G., Cestari, T. & Corleta, O. Comparison of nonablative fractional erbium laser 1,340 nm and microneedling for the treatment of atrophic acne scars: a randomized clinical trial. Dermatol Surg 42, 232–241 (2016).
  22. Alexis, A. F. et al. Nonablative fractional laser resurfacing for acne scarring in patients with fitzpatrick skin phototypes iv-vi. Dermatol Surg 42, 392–402 (2016).
  23. Al-Dhalimi, M. & Jaber, A. Treatment of atrophic facial acne scars with fractional Er:Yag laser. J Cosmet Laser Ther 17, 184–188 (2015).
  24. Sardana, K., Manjhi, M., Garg, V. K. & Sagar, V. Which type of atrophic acne scar (ice-pick, boxcar, or rolling) responds to nonablative fractional laser therapy? Dermatol Surg 40, 288–300 (2014).
  25. Rongsaard, N. & Rummaneethorn, P. Comparison of a fractional bipolar radiofrequency device and a fractional erbium-doped glass 1,550-nm device for the treatment of atrophic acne scars: a randomized split-face clinical study. Dermatol Surg 40, 14–21 (2014).
  26. Leheta, T. M., Abdel Hay, R. M., Hegazy, R. A. & El Garem, Y. F. Do combined alternating sessions of 1540 nm nonablative fractional laser and percutaneous collagen induction with trichloroacetic acid 20% show better results than each individual modality in the treatment of atrophic acne scars? A randomized controlled trial. J Dermatolog Treat 25, 137–141 (2014).
  27. Ghaly, N. Comparative study of 1540-nm non-ablative fractional erbium laser versus 2940-nm ablative erbium: YAG laser in resurfacing of post-acne scarring. Tanta Medical Sciences Journal 3, 29–39 (2012).
  28. Bencini, P. L. et al. Nonablative fractional photothermolysis for acne scars: clinical and in vivo microscopic documentation of treatment efficacy. Dermatol Ther 25, 463–467 (2012).
  29. Park, G.-H. et al. Treatment of atrophic scars with fractional photothermolysis: short-term follow-up. J Dermatolog Treat 22, 43–48 (2011).
  30. Isarría, M. J., Cornejo, P., Muñoz, E., Royo de la Torre, J. & Moraga, J. M. Evaluation of clinical improvement in acne scars and active acne in patients treated with the 1540-nm non-ablative fractional laser. J Drugs Dermatol 10, 907–912 (2011).
  31. Alajlan, A. M. & Alsuwaidan, S. N. Acne scars in ethnic skin treated with both non-ablative fractional 1,550 nm and ablative fractional CO2 lasers: comparative retrospective analysis with recommended guidelines. Lasers Surg Med 43, 787–791 (2011).
  32. Mahmoud, B. H. et al. Safety and efficacy of erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet fractionated laser for treatment of acne scars in type IV to VI skin. Dermatol Surg 36, 602–609 (2010).
  33. Hedelund, L., Moreau, K. E. R., Beyer, D. M., Nymann, P. & Haedersdal, M. Fractional nonablative 1,540-nm laser resurfacing of atrophic acne scars. a randomized controlled trial with blinded response evaluation. Lasers Med Sci 25, 749–754 (2010).
  34. Cho, S. B. et al. Non-ablative 1550-nm erbium-glass and ablative 10 600-nm carbon dioxide fractional lasers for acne scars: a randomized split-face study with blinded response evaluation. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 24, 921–925 (2010).
  35. Chan, N. P. Y., Ho, S. G. Y., Yeung, C. K., Shek, S. Y. N. & Chan, H. H. The use of non-ablative fractional resurfacing in Asian acne scar patients. Lasers Surg Med 42, 710–715 (2010).
  36. Yoo, K. H. et al. The use of 1540 nm fractional photothermolysis for the treatment of acne scars in Asian skin: a pilot study. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 25, 138–142 (2009).
  37. Kim, H. J., Kim, T. G., Kwon, Y. S., Park, J. M. & Lee, J. H. Comparison of a 1,550 nm Erbium: glass fractional laser and a chemical reconstruction of skin scars (CROSS) method in the treatment of acne scars: a simultaneous split-face trial. Lasers Surg Med 41, 545–549 (2009).
  38. Hu, S., Chen, M.-C., Lee, M.-C., Yang, L.-C. & Keoprasom, N. Fractional resurfacing for the treatment of atrophic facial acne scars in asian skin. Dermatol Surg 35, 826–832 (2009).
  39. Lee, H. S. et al. Fractional photothermolysis for the treatment of acne scars: a report of 27 Korean patients. J Dermatolog Treat 19, 45–49 (2008).
  40. Chrastil, B., Glaich, A. S., Goldberg, L. H. & Friedman, P. M. Second-generation 1,550-nm fractional photothermolysis for the treatment of acne scars. Dermatol Surg 34, 1327–1332 (2008).
  41. Alster, T. S., Tanzi, E. L. & Lazarus, M. The use of fractional laser photothermolysis for the treatment of atrophic scars. Dermatol Surg 33, 295–299 (2007).
  42. Hasegawa, T. et al. Clinical trial of a laser device called fractional photothermolysis system for acne scars. J Dermatol 33, 623–627 (2006).

Side Effects

Low-medium side effects and adverse reactions


139 Reviews