Treatment of atrophic facial acne scars with the 1064-nm Q-switched Nd:YAG laser: six-month follow-up study

Paul M Friedman, Ming H Jih, Greg R Skover, Greg S Payonk, Arash Kimyai-Asadi, Roy G Geronemus
Archives of Dermatology 2004, 140 (11): 1337-41

OBJECTIVES: To quantitatively assess improvement in acne scarring after a series of nonablative laser treatments and to determine efficacy at 1-, 3-, and 6-month follow-up after treatment.

DESIGN: Before-after trial of consecutively selected patients.

SETTING: Private practice at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of New York, New York.

PATIENTS: Eleven patients with mild to moderate atrophic acne scarring were treated.

INTERVENTIONS: A 3-dimensional optical profiling imaging system was used to assess skin topography before, during, and after treatment. Patients were treated with a 1064-nm Q-switched Nd:YAG laser and reassessed after 3 treatment sessions and at 1, 3, and 6 months after the fifth treatment session.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The skin roughness analysis was quantified at baseline and at each follow-up interval. Pain, erythema, and petechiae formation were assessed on 3-point scales.

RESULTS: At midtreatment (1 month after the third treatment session), an 8.9% improvement in roughness analysis was seen. This improvement increased to 23.3%, 31.6%, and 39.2% at 1, 3, and 6 months after the fifth treatment, respectively. Patients reported mild to moderate pain with treatment. The only adverse effects noted were transient erythema and mild pinpoint petechiae.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with the nonablative 1064-nm Q-switched Nd:YAG laser results in significant quantitative improvements in skin topography in patients with mild to moderate atrophic acne scars. Continued incremental improvements were noted at 1-, 3-, and 6-month follow-up, indicating ongoing dermal collagen remodeling after the treatment.

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