Mother's Day: Treat her to a complete routine

Mother's Day: Treat her to a complete routine

By edit
Face care
By concern
Stage of skin aging
Body care
Skin diagnostic
Library
All Topics
Efficacité laser kératose pilaire

Using laser treatment to eliminate keratosis pilaris.

Keratosis pilaris is a benign skin condition related to the obstruction of hair follicles, resulting in small hard bumps. Laser treatments are often cited as a solution to overcome this condition and regain smooth skin. Here are more details on the subject.

Summary
Published March 5, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 7 min read

Keratosis pilaris, in a nutshell.

Keratosis pilaris is a harmless and very common skin condition : it is estimated that it affects between 50 to 80% of teenagers and up to 40% of adults worldwide. This condition causes the emergence of follicular plugs, which take the form of small hard bumps on the skin's surface. Most often localized on the arms, calves, and thighs, these imperfections can in some cases reach the face or the scalp.

The small bumps associated with keratosis pilaris are typically colorless and surrounded by a slight pink hue in individuals with fair skin, and a brown halo in individuals with darker skin. While keratosis pilaris in most cases only represents a cosmetic inconvenience, it can sometimes be accompanied by a mild itch. It is then important to do your best not to scratch, as this could lead to a slight inflammation.

Can keratosis pilaris be treated with laser sessions?

Several studies have demonstrated the high efficacy of laser treatments in the case of keratosis pilaris. Painless and quick, these treatments provide a real improvement in skin texture in just a few sessions and help to smooth the skin's surface while eliminating the small bumps characteristic of keratosis pilaris. There are several types of lasers, all with relatively comparable effectiveness:

  • The Nd:YAG laser.

    The Nd:YAG laser is made up of a yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) crystal doped with a neodymium ion. This laser, with a beam wavelength of 1,064 nm, has good skin penetration. However, the short-term appearance of redness, itching, and swelling are common side effects.

    Among the studies that have examined the effectiveness of this laser in treating keratosis pilaris, one can mention that of LEE, conducted in 2011. Over several weeks, 12 participants with keratosis pilaris underwent a Nd:YAG laser session every two weeks. After 10 sessions, the researchers noted a more than 25% improvement in skin texture for 11 patients. This improvement even exceeded 50% for half of the patients.

  • The CO2laser.

    CO2 lasers are ablative lasers that utilize carbon dioxide. Used since the 1990s in dermatology, their operation is based on the excitation of CO2 molecules when they are exposed to infrared radiation. The wavelength emitted by CO2 lasers is 10,600 nm. This type of lasers generally results in very few side effects.

    Furthermore, CO2 lasers have shown good efficacy in treating keratosis pilaris. Several studies have demonstrated that a single session of CO2 laser treatment can, on average, result in a 50% improvement in skin texture.

  • Pulsed light.

    Just as with traditional lasers, the light energy emitted by pulsed light is converted into thermal energy, which allows for the removal of the excess keratin characteristic of keratosis pilaris. However, unlike lasers, pulsed light delivers multiple wavelengths in each pulse (polychromatic light) instead of a precise wavelength. Filters are sometimes used to further control the emitted wavelength.

    Multiple sessions are necessary to maximize the effectiveness of pulsed light therapy. A study has notably shown an average improvement in skin texture ofapproximately 30% after 3 sessions of pulsed light therapy in individuals affected by keratosis pilaris.

  • The diode laser.

    The diode laser emits a wavelength of 810 nm and targets hair follicles specifically to unblock them. The principle of the diode laser also relies on its ability to emit photons that will be converted into thermal energy in the hair follicles, in order to eliminate excess keratin. A few studies have looked into its effectiveness in cases of keratosis pilaris. One of the most recent involving 18 patients showed that after three sessions of diode laser, the skin texture of the individuals had improved by an average of 50%.

Note : While laser treatments generally provide satisfactory results for keratosis pilaris, it's important to understand that the results are rarely permanent. Indeed, when the treatments are discontinued, a relapse is typically observed.

Laser: Precautions to be Taken.

Before embarking on laser sessions, it is important to know the precautions to take. First of all, it's good to know that laser treatment is not recommended for pregnant women and people taking a photosensitizing medication. Indeed, certain antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs have this property and can increase the risk of burns or hyperpigmentation during the session. As for pregnancy, the reason is somewhat similar: the hormonal changes that the body undergoes during this period can increase the skin's reactivity and the risk of hyperpigmentation (pregnancy mask). Moreover, any exposure to the sun is strongly discouraged two weeks prior to the laser session.

The same applies to the month following the session, when the skin is still sensitive and vulnerable. To strengthen and repair the skin barrier, we advise you to nourish and hydrate it daily. For this, we recommend our 10-ingredient body moisturizing cream and/or our lipid-replenishing balm. Non-greasy and non-sticky, our moisturizing cream has a minimalist formula where any superfluous ingredient has been eliminated. Our balm, on the other hand, has been designed for dry to very dry skin and combines the lipid-replenishing action of ceramides and shea butter with a rebalancing postbiotic to provide a boost of hydration and soothing.

Sources

  • LEE C. K. A Pilot Study of Q-switched 1064-nm Nd:YAG Laser Treatment in Keratosis Pilaris. Annals of Dermatology (2011).

  • ALAM N. & others. Treatment of keratosis pilaris with 810-nm diode laser: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Dermatology (2015).

  • WANG J. F. & ORLOW S. J. Keratosis Pilaris and its Subtypes: Associations, New Molecular and Pharmacologic Causes, and Treatment Options. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (2018).

  • ISMAIL S. & OMAR S. S. Clinical and Dermoscopic Assessment of Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser in the Treatment of Keratosis Pilaris in Egyptian Skin Types. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2020).

  • FELDMAN S. R. & al. Treatment of keratosis pilaris and its variants: a systematic review. Journal of Dermatological Treatment (2022).

Diagnostic

Understand your skin
and its complex needs.

Go further: