Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Dermatol Surg. 2010 Mar;36(3):299-306. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2009.01434.x. Epub 2010 Jan 19.

Fractionated laser skin resurfacing treatment complications: a review.

Author information

  • 1Division of Dermatology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.



Fractional photothermolysis represents a new modality of laser skin resurfacing that was developed to provide a successful clinical response while minimizing postoperative recovery and limiting treatment complications.


To review all of the reported complications that develop as a result of fractional ablative and nonablative laser skin resurfacing.


A literature review was based on a MEDLINE search (1998-2009) for English-language articles related to laser treatment complications and fractional skin resurfacing. Articles presenting the highest level of evidence and the most recent reports were preferentially selected.


Complications with fractional laser skin resurfacing represent a full spectrum of severity and can be longlasting. In general, a greater likelihood of developing post-treatment complications is seen in sensitive cutaneous areas and in patients with intrinsically darker skin phototypes or predisposing medical risk factors.


Although the overall rate of complications associated with fractional laser skin resurfacing is much lower than with traditional ablative techniques, recent reports suggest that serious complications can develop. An appreciation of all of the complications associated with fractional laser skin resurfacing is important, especially given that many of them can be potentially prevented. The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk