JOURNAL ARTICLE

Resurfacing of different types of facial acne scar with short-pulsed, variable-pulsed, and dual-mode Er:YAG laser

Sang-Hyuk Woo, Jae-Hong Park, Young-Chul Kye
Dermatologic Surgery: Official Publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et Al.] 2004, 30 (4): 488-93
15056135

BACKGROUND: Laser skin resurfacing has become a popular therapeutic modality for the correction of acne scars, but it is not always effective in all types of acne scars.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical effects of resurfacing with the short-pulsed Er:YAG laser, the variable-pulsed Er:YAG laser, and the dual-mode Er:YAG laser for each type of facial acne scars.

METHODS: One hundred fifty-eight patients with facial acne scars were included in this study. Eighty three patients (18 deep boxcar scars, 8 ice-pick scars, 11 rolling scars, and 46 shallow boxcars) were treated with the 350-micros short-pulsed Er:YAG laser at the setting of 12.5 to 15%/cm(2). Thirty-five patients (8 deep boxcar scars, 4 ice-pick scars, 12 rolling scars, and 11 shallow boxcars) were treated with the variable-pulsed Er:YAG laser at the setting of 7.0 to 7.5%/cm(2) and 7-ms pulse duration. Forty patients (8 deep boxcar scars, 4 ice-pick scars, 17 rolling scars, and 11 shallow boxcars) were treated with the dual-mode Er:YAG laser with 350-micro ablation mode at 17.5%/cm(2) and 8-ms coagulation mode at 3.15%/cm(2). Facial photographs were obtained at baseline and at 2- to 4-week intervals postoperatively. Acne scars were classified into four types, and clinical improvements of facial acne scars were evaluated.

RESULTS: Resurfacing with the short-pulsed Er:YAG laser shows good to excellent results for ice-pick and shallow boxcar scars, fair to good for deep boxcar scars, and poor to fair for rolling scars. Resurfacing with the variable-pulsed laser shows good to excellent results for ice-pick and shallow boxcar scars, fair to good for deep boxcar scars, and good for rolling scars. Resurfacing with the dual-mode laser shows good to excellent results for ice-pick, shallow, and rolling scars and produced good results on deep boxcar scars.

CONCLUSION: Shallow boxcar and ice-pick scars can be treated successfully using any types of Er:YAG laser. In cases of rolling and deep boxcar scars, however, Er:YAG laser with a long-pulse duration for a thermal effect is needed for successful treatment.

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