Key parameters of non-ablative fractional laser pretreatments for enhanced topical uptake

Jordan V. Wang, Paul M. Friedman, Jenny Johnson, Adarsh Konda, Linda Keator, Roy G. Geronemus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The uptake of topical formulations can be enhanced through laser pretreatments. Newer technologies, such as non-ablative fractional lasers (NAFLs), can target dermal tissues and spare the stratum corneum (SC), which can mitigate common side effects associated with ablative laser treatment. Objective: To discuss the parameters of 2 NAFL pretreatment systems (1440-nm/1927-nm diode system or 1550-nm erbium-doped glass/1927-nm thulium system), which can be paired with topicals to improve their cutaneous uptake. Methods and Materials: The parameters of the 1440-nm/1927-nm diode system and 1550-nm erbium-doped glass/1927-nm thulium system were reviewed, as well as in vivo experiments using both laser systems. Results: Multiple parameters should be optimized to enhance the uptake of various topical formulations and minimize side effects, including wavelength, spot size, density, pulse duration, thermal properties, and topical formulation. Chosen therapeutic parameters must account for patient-specific factors, such as treatment indication, therapeutic area, and Fitzpatrick skin type. In vivo experiments have demonstrated that both laser systems are effective in enhancing the uptake of various topical therapies relative to untreated controls. Conclusion: Individualization of laser system parameters increases efficiency and minimizes risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3803-3808
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • density
  • duration
  • spot size
  • topical formulation
  • wavelength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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