The texture and atrophy of moderate-to-severe atrophic acne scars can be improved using ablative fractional carbon dioxide (CO2) laser resurfacing treatment once a month for three months, according to a study published in the August issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.
Lene Hedelund, M.D., Ph.D., of the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a single-blind study involving 13 adults with atrophic acne scars in two areas of similar size and appearance who were randomized to treatment with three monthly ablative fractional CO2 laser treatments or no treatment. Blinded evaluations were performed by three physicians.
Prior to treatment the researchers noted that, in interventional and non-interventional sites, acne scars had moderate-to-severe uneven texture and atrophy. At one, three, and six months postoperatively, both texture and atrophy scores were significantly lower with fractional CO2 laser resurfacing treatment compared with no treatment. Patients were satisfied with the results of treatment, rating their acne scar texture to be mildly or moderately improved. The treatment was well tolerated with few minor adverse effects.
"In conclusion, in this single-blinded randomized controlled trial we demonstrated that moderate-to-severe atrophic acne scars can be safely improved by ablative fractional CO2 laser resurfacing," the authors write. "The use of higher energy levels might have improved the results and possibly also induced significant adverse effects."
One author received a research grant and the loan of a fractionated CO2 laser from MedArt.
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For more information on atrophic scar revision, read the article "Atrophic Scar Revision Using Fractional Photothermolysis."