Non-ablative fractional (NAF) 1,550 nm and ablative fractional (AF) CO2 lasers are effective and safe for treating acne scars in ethnic skin, with a good patient satisfaction rate, according to a study published in the September issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.
Abdulmajeed M. Alajlan, M.D., and Sami N. Alsuwaidan, M.D., from the King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, investigated the safety and efficacy of NAF 1,550 nm and AF CO2 lasers in 82 patients with acne scars in ethnic skin. Pre- and post-treatment photographs, physician global assessment, patient satisfaction rate, and adverse effects were assessed in 45 patients treated with NAF 1,550 nm, and 37 patients treated with AF CO2 lasers between 2008 and 2009. After each session, all patients were routinely given bleaching cream and oral antibiotics. Participants were followed up at weeks one and four of each session, and 12 weeks after the last session.
The investigators found that the main skin phototype was type IV (III to V). The overall patient satisfaction was 71 and 65 percent for the NAF 1,550 nm and AF CO2 groups, respectively, with more than 50 percent improvement in 35 and 37 of percent of patients, respectively. The down time was less in the patients treated with NAF 1,550 nm. Transient post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation was found in 17 and 14 percent of the patients in the NAF 1,550 nm and AF CO2 groups, respectively.
"Both NAF 1,550 nm and AF CO2 lasers are effective and safe for treatment of acne scars in individuals with dark skin complexion," the authors write.
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For more on fractional lasers and acne scarring, see the article "Fractional Lasers for Acne Scarring in Patients With Skin of Color" in the Cosmetic Dermatology archives.