Ultrasound imaging demonstration of the improvement of non-ablative laser remodeling by concomitant daily topical application of 0.05% retinaldehyde

Serge Mordon, Jean Michel Lagarde, Marie Pierre Vienne, Thérèse Nocera, François Verriere, Serge Dahan
Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy: Official Publication of the European Society for Laser Dermatology 2004, 6 (1): 5-9

BACKGROUND: Retinaldehyde has been proven to be effective in the reduction of facial wrinkles. It has also demonstrated its usefulness when used before and after laser skin resurfacing.

OBJECTIVE: A monocentric, comparative, randomized, double-blind study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of retinaldehyde versus excipient in combination with non-ablative laser remodeling treatment.

METHODS: A total of 16 female patients (mean age 45 years) were enrolled for neck line and forehead rhytid treatment. They were randomly assigned into two groups. The RAL group (eight patients) was treated with a non-ablative laser (1540 nm Er:glass, 10 J/cm2 per pulse, three pulses, 2 Hz repetition rate, 4 mm spot, +5 degrees C cooling) and daily topical application of 0.05% retinaldehyde immediately after the first laser treatment and up to 3 months after the fifth treatment. The CTRL group (eight patients) was treated under similar conditions, except with a daily application of excipient. The thickness of the skin (forehead and neck) was measured by ultrasound imaging before the first treatment, 1 month after the third treatment, 1 month after the fifth treatment and 3 months after the fifth treatment.

RESULTS: An increase of dermal thickness was observed for all patients treated by laser (groups RAL and CTRL) on the forehead and neck. However, the increase was greater for the RAL group (retinaldehyde) when compared with the CTRL group (excipient). Three months after the fifth treatment, the increase in dermal thickness (%) was, respectively, 5.27 versus 1.13 for the forehead and 10.54 versus 3.57 for the neck. The difference between groups was statistically significant in favor of the retinaldehyde group for the forehead (p<0.05) and of limited significance for the neck (p=0.08).

CONCLUSION: When considering the reduced number of patients in each group, the statistical analysis demonstrates an evident advantage of using retinaldehyde versus excipient. This study demonstrates that irradiation with a 1540 nm Er:glass laser can be potentiated with concomitant daily topical application of 0.05% retinaldehyde.

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