Clinical effect of ablative fractional laser-assisted topical anesthesia on human skin: A randomized pilot study.

Journal of cosmetic and laser therapy : official publication of the European Society for Laser Dermatology

PubMedID: 27419471

Tian T, Luo Y, Jiang T, Dong Y, Yu A, Chen H, Gao X, Li YH. Clinical effect of ablative fractional laser-assisted topical anesthesia on human skin: A randomized pilot study. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2016;1-17.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
Most topical medications need a long time to penetrate into the skin owing to the stratum corneum (SC) barrier. The fractional erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Er:YAG) laser has the ability to disrupt the SC and assist in the delivery of topical drugs to penetrate into the skin. This study was intended to determine whether pretreatment with a painless fractional Er:YAG laser could assist transdermal delivery of topical anesthesia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS
In 22 healthy female subjects, three 4 × 3 cm regions on the right forearm were randomized to: fractional laser plus topical lidocaine cream (Group LaserAnes), sham irradiation plus topical anesthesia (Group Anes), and sham irradiation plus sham anesthesia (Group Con). After 5 minutes, each site was treated with yttrium scandium gallium garnet laser to evaluate the pain sensation using the visual analog scale.

RESULTS
The average pain scores of Group LaserAnes, Group Anes, and Group Con are 3.74 ± 1.93, 4.90 ± 2.09, and 5.19 ± 2.15, respectively. The pain score of Group LaserAnes has a 25.57% reduction compared to Group Anes (p < 0.001) and a 28.70% reduction compared to Group Con (p < 0.001). There is no significant pain reduction for Group Anes compared with Group Con (p = 0.094).

CONCLUSIONS
Pretreatment using fractional Er:YAG laser before topicals might be an effective method for drug delivery.