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J Dermatolog Treat. 2013 Jun;24(3):227-31. doi: 10.3109/09546634.2012.687088. Epub 2012 Jun 12.

Non-ablative fractional resurfacing in combination with topical tretinoin cream as a field treatment modality for multiple actinic keratosis: a pilot study and a review of other field treatment modalities.

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Department of Dermatology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



Actinic keratoses (AK) are premalignant lesions occurring mainly in sun-damaged skin. Current topical treatment options for AK and photo-damaged skin such as liquid nitrogen and electrosurgery are not suitable for field treatment. Otherwise, therapies suitable for field treatment bring along considerable patient discomfort. Non-ablative fractional resurfacing has emerged as a logical treatment option especially for field treatment of AK.


To evaluate the clinical efficacy of fractional laser therapy for clearing AK and improving skin quality. To compare patient friendliness of the "fractional" therapy with those reported for other field treatment modalities.


Ten patients with Fitzpatrick skin type I to III with multiple AK and extensive sun-damaged skin, received 5-10 sessions with a 4-week interval using a 1550 nm Erbium-Glass Fractionated laser (Sellas, Korea). Four weeks and 24 weeks after the last treatment the clinical results were evaluated by an independent physician.


The mean degree of improvement, in terms of reduction in the number of AK and improvement of skin texture, was 54% on a 4 point PGA scale, and persisted for approximately 6 months. The biggest advantage of fractional laser treatment, besides the eradication of AK and a clear rejuvenation effect, is the absence of "downtime".


Fractional non-ablative resurfacing induces significant reduction in the number of AK and improves the skin quality. Also all patients preferred fractional laser therapy above other AK treatment modalities.

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