Laser resurfacing for facial acne scars

Rachel Jordan*, Carole Cl Cummins, Amanda Burls, Daron Dc Seukeran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Most people have acne at some stage during their life, with about one per cent being left with permanent acne scars. Recent laser techniques are thought to be more effective than chemical peels and dermabrasion. Objectives: To assess the effects of laser resurfacing for treating facial acne scars. Search methods: We searched MEDLINE (1966 to April 1999), EMBASE (1980 to April 1999), Science Citation Index (1981 to April 1999), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (April 1999), DARE (April 1999), INAHTA (April 1999), NHS HTA Internet site (April 1999). Dermatological Surgery (1995 to March 1999) and the British Journal of Dermatology (1995 to September 1999) were handsearched. We searched the reference lists of relevant articles and contacted experts and commercial laser manufacturers. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials which compare different laser resurfacing techniques for treating patients with facial acne scars, or compare laser resurfacing with other resurfacing techniques or no treatment. Data collection and analysis: Two reviewers independently selected studies, assessed the quality of studies and extracted data. Main results: No randomised controlled trials where laser treatment was compared to either placebo or a different type of laser were found. Most of the 27 studies uncovered were poor quality case series with small numbers of acne-scarred patients. Authors' conclusions: The lack of good quality evidence does not enable any conclusions to be drawn about the effectiveness of lasers for treating atrophic or ice-pick acne scars. Well designed randomised controlled comparisons of carbon dioxide versus Erbium:YAG laser are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD001866
Number of pages4
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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