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J Invest Dermatol. 2012 Jun;132(6):1591-6. doi: 10.1038/jid.2012.29. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Fractionated laser resurfacing corrects the inappropriate UVB response in geriatric skin.

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Department of Dermatology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-5121, USA.


Non-melanoma skin cancer is a disease primarily afflicting geriatric patients as evidenced by the fact that 80% of all non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed in patients over the age of 60 years. As such, geriatric skin responds to cancer-inducing UVB irradiation in a manner that allows the establishment of tumor cells. Currently, the only effective treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer is the removal of the tumors after they appear, indicating the need for a more cost-effective prophylactic therapy. Geriatric volunteers were treated with fractionated laser resurfacing therapy on either sun-protected (upper buttocks) or chronically sun-exposed (dorsal forearm) skin. Fractionated laser resurfacing therapy was shown to decrease the occurrence of senescent fibroblasts in geriatric dermis, increase the dermal expression of IGF-1, and correct the inappropriate UVB response observed in untreated geriatric skin. These responses to fractionated laser resurfacing were equal to the effects seen previously using the more aggressive wounding following dermabrasion. Furthermore, fractionated laser resurfacing was equally effective in both sun-protected and sun-exposed skin. The ability of fractionated laser resurfacing treatment to protect against the occurrence of UVB-damaged proliferating keratinocytes indicates the potential of fractionated laser resurfacing to reduce or prevent aging-associated non-melanoma skin cancer.

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