Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing as Monotherapy in the Treatment of Atrophic Facial Acne Scars.J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2014 Apr; 7(2):87-92.JC
While laser resurfacing remains the most effective treatment option for atrophic acne scars, the high incidence of post-treatment adverse effects limits its use. Fractional laser photothermolysis attempts to overcome these limitations of laser resurfacing by creating microscopic zones of injury to the dermis with skip areas in between.
The aim of the present study is to assess the efficacy and safety of fractional CO2 laser resurfacing in atrophic facial acne scars.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Sixty patients with moderate to severe atrophic facial acne scars were treated with 3-4 sessions of fractional CO2 laser resurfacing at 6-week intervals. The therapeutic response to treatment was assessed at each follow up visit and then finally 6 months after the last laser session using a quartile grading scale. Response to treatment was labelled as 'excellent' if there was >50% improvement in scar appearance and texture of skin on the grading scale while 25-50% response and <25% improvement were labelled as 'good' and 'poor' response, respectively. The overall satisfaction of the patients and any adverse reactions to the treatment were also noted.
Most of the patients showed a combination of different morphological types of acne scars. At the time of final assessment 6 months after the last laser session, an excellent response was observed in 26 patients (43.3%) while 15 (25%) and 19 patients (31.7%) demonstrated a good and poor response respectively. Rolling and superficial boxcar scars responded the best while pitted scars responded the least to fractional laser monotherapy. The commonest reported adverse effect was transient erythema and crusting lasting for an average of 3-4 and 4-6 days, respectively while three patients developed post-inflammatory pigmentation lasting for 8-12 weeks.
Fractional laser resurfacing as monotherapy is effective in treating acne scars especially rolling and superficial boxcar scars with minimal adverse effects.