Controlled Vaporization of the Skin for the Treatment of Wrinkles
22 October 2001 (online)
Resurfacing with CO2 or Er:YAG lasers is a frequent technique used to achieve skin rejuvenation. The Er:YAG has gained wide acceptance since it can reduce the morbidity associated with CO2 resurfacing. Laser resurfacing with the CO2 produces areas of fibroplasia with intense cellular and vascular activity. Thermal conduction towards neighbouring tissue is the cause of collagen production which acts in stretching the skin.
Despite the scarce thermal conduction of the Er:YAG laser, areas of fibroplasia are also found after resurfacing. But, this may be associated with the relatively low energy density used, which provokes an increase in the thermal gradient deposited causing stimulation in the dermis.
One advantage of a CO2 and Er:YAG combined system is that it produces limited tissue aggression. High energy density Er:YAG in combination with subablative CO2 can obtain effective epidermis elimination by the former and heat conduction for the dermis contraction by the latter.
Laser is a safe, valid alternative treatment for cutaneous aging but prudence, together with observation should continuously guide skin resurfacing.
Skin rejuvenation - laser resurfacing - erbium YAG laser - CO2 laser - wrinkles - residual thermal damage