Included in this post is a collection of images from scientific journal articles researching the efficacy of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Lasers for skin resurfacing and the treatment of acne scars.
The least invasive (and most popular) form of CO2 Laser skin resurfacing utilizes something called “fractional” laser technology. In this technique, the target area is treated with individual laser pulses that intersperse treated and untreated tissue. This approach has fewer side-effects and a shorter recovery period, although it may be less effective overall than complete, ablative treatment.
Fraxel is an increasingly popular laser system that utilizes the fractional approach with several different types of lasers. Below are a couple images from a study investigating the efficacy of Fraxel’s CO2 laser platform for repairing acne damaged skin.
These laser systems can also be used on very small areas targeted to specific lesions and acne scars, as demonstrated in the images from a study by Kim ,et al.
CO2 laser resurfacing systems are also commonly used for complete ablative resurfacing of the skin. This is one of the most invasive forms of laser skin treatment and generally involves an extensive recovery period. Below is an image from a study by Chapas, et al investigating the efficacy of full, ablative CO2 resurfacing to improve the appearance of acne scars.
Here is an image of some potential, short-term side effects of ablative CO2 laser skin resurfacing.
References and Sources
Successful Treatment of Acneiform Scarring With CO2 Ablative Fractional Resurfacing.
Chapas, et al. 2008. For article abstract, click here.
Efficacy and safety of a carbon-dioxide ablative fractional resurfacing device for treatment of atrophic acne scars in Asians.
Manuskiatti, et al. 2009. For article abstract, click here.
The Efficacy and Safety of 10,600-nm Carbon Dioxide Fractional Laser for Acne Scars in Asian Patients.
Cho, et al. 2009. For article abstract, click here.
Evaluation of a Novel Fractional Resurfacing Device for Treatment of Acne Scarring.
Walgrave, et al. 2009. For article abstract, click here.
Clinical trial of a pinpoint irradiation technique with the CO2 laser for the treatment of atrophic acne scars.
Kim, et al. 2008. For article abstract, click here.
The Use of Fractional Laser Photothermolysis for the Treatment of Atrophic Scars.
Alster, et al. 2007. For article abstract, click here.
Complications of Fractional CO2 Laser Resurfacing: Four Cases.
Fife, et al. 2009. For article abstract, click here.
Fractional photothermolysis—an update.
Allemann, et al. 2010. For article abstract, click here.