Treatment of various skin conditions using a high-energy fractionated CO2 laser with automated scanner
Tissue ablation using resurfacing lasers has been a very common practice in the treatment of photo-damaged skin and acne scars in the 1990’s. Non-ablative resurfacing lasers took an important role in treating wrinkles or acne scars in patients for whom downtime was not acceptable, but their main drawback was limited clinical efficacy. There are several wavelength options for ablative resurfacing from 2,790nm to 10,600nm; however, the risk of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, scarring, or infection has always been a concern when ablating the entire skin’s surface. Recently, a new concept based on fractionated laser resurfacing leaves healthy tissue around small ablated zones unaffected, therefore minimizing post treatment complications. This is important especially for Asian skin, as darker skin types are more vulnerable to thermal damage.1 Efforts to improve fractional ablative laser systems have led to the development of the traditional fractional CO2 lasers, which can penetrate deeper than the mid-infrared lasers and, therefore, are predicted to lead to better clinical results. A new high power CO2 laser with a unique scanning technology is intended for procedures requiring the excision, incision, ablation, coagulation and resurfacing of soft tissue in dermatology and plastic surgery. Fractional resurfacing results in deep microscopic ablated zones surrounded by undamaged tissue, allowing for the control of depth and the level of heating around the small spot columns. High-energy CO2 lasers can also provide superficial tissue ablation with minimal residual heat and sufficient coagulation thus avoiding bleeding. In this report, the efficacy and safety of a high-energy fractionated CO2 laser for treating rhytides, pigmentation, scarring, and textural irregularities will be discussed.
Nariaki Miyata, M.D.
Miyata Plastic Surgery and Skin Clinic, Tokyo, Japan
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