JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Efficacy and safety of erbium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet fractional resurfacing laser for treatment of facial acne scars

Balakrishnan Nirmal, Sathish B Pai, Handattu Sripathi, Raghavendra Rao, Smitha Prabhu, Mohan H Kudur, Sudhir U K Nayak
Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology 2013, 79 (2): 193-8
23442457

BACKGROUND: Treatment of acne scars with ablative fractional laser resurfacing has given good improvement. But, data on Indian skin are limited. A study comparing qualitative, quantitative, and subjective assessments is also lacking.

AIM: Our aim was to assess the improvement of facial acne scars with Erbium-doped Yttrium Aluminium Garnet (Er:YAG) 2940 nm fractional laser resurfacing and its adverse effects in 25 patients at a tertiary care teaching hospital.

METHODS: All 25 patients received four treatment sessions with Er:YAG fractional laser at 1-month interval. The laser parameters were kept constant for each of the four sittings in all patients. Qualitative and quantitative assessments were done using Goodman and Barron grading. Subjective assessment in percentage of improvement was also documented 1 month after each session. Photographs were taken before each treatment session and 1 month after the final session. Two unbiased dermatologists performed independent clinical assessments by comparing the photographs. The kappa statistics was used to monitor the agreement between the dermatologists and patients.

RESULTS: Most patients (96%) showed atleast fair improvement. Rolling and superficial box scars showed higher significant improvement when compared with ice pick and deep box scars. Patient's satisfaction of improvement was higher when compared to physician's observations. No serious adverse effects were noted with exacerbation of acne lesions forming the majority.

CONCLUSION: Ablative fractional photothermolysis is both effective and safe treatment for atrophic acne scars in Indian skin.Precise evaluation of acne scar treatment can be done by taking consistent digital photographs.

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