The Cranley Clinic was the first in the UK to obtain and use the Fraxel Carbon Dioxide Laser for scars and rejuvenation.
"This report confirms my experience with our latest Fraxel Carbon Dioxide Laser."
- Dr Nick Lowe, MD
From the archives of Dermatology 2010; 146-133-140
MedWire News: Ablative fractional resurfacing using carbon dioxide lasers is effective for improving atrophic scarring caused by surgery or trauma, report researchers.
"Atrophic scars, which present as topographical depressions, result when dermal collagen and connective tissue production during the physiologic wound-healing process inadequately compensate for the tissue loss present after injury," explains Elliot Weiss (Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, USA) and colleagues.
Carbon dioxide laser treatment has previously been shown to be effective for treatment of atrophic acne scarring.
In this study, Weiss and team recruited 15 women with 22 non acne atrophic scars caused by trauma or surgical procedures, of whom 12 patients (19 scars) completed treatment. The women all had Fitzpatrick skin types Ito IV.
The women had three ablative fractional resurfacing treatments for each scar at 1—4-month intervals. Redness, swelling, scarring, crusting, discoloration, and purpura (these are larger areas of bleeding into the skin that begin as red areas that become purple and later brownish-yellow. Purpura usually appears in crops and may disappear over three to five days) were assessed for each scar before and after treatment and through 6 months of follow-up, as well as skin texture, degree of atrophy, pigmentation, and overall appearance.
High resolution topographic representations of atrophic scars were generated using a three-dimensional optical profiling system to aid measurement of change in scar volume and depth by the researchers. By the end of the 6-month follow-up period, improvements in skin texture, pigmentation, atrophy, and overall scar appearance, as graded by patients and investigators, were seen for all scars, with mean overall improvement scores of 2.87, 2.27, 2.61, and 2.97, respectively. The more in-depth image analysis demonstrated a mean reduction in scar volume and maximum scar depth of 38.0% and 35.6% respectively.
Of note, the researchers found that adverse effects from the treatment were generally mild to moderate and no resultant additional scarring or delayed-onset hypopigmentation was observed.
"A favorable adverse effect profile makes ablative fractional resurfacing an excellent choice for treating atrophic surgical and traumatic scars on the face and body," conclude Weiss et al in the Archives of Dermatology.
They add: "Further research into the most beneficial treatment intervals for scars on and off the face is needed. In addition, treatment settings for scars in darker skin types remain to be optimized."