Treatment of upper lip wrinkles: a comparison of 950 microsec dwell time carbon dioxide laser with unoccluded Baker's phenol chemical peel

Dermatol Surg. 1999 Apr;25(4):262-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1524-4725.1999.08237.x.


Background: The high energy, pulsed, or computer-scanned continuous wave carbon dioxide laser (CO2 laser) has gained popularity as a wrinkle treatment because of its minimal thermal injury and precise control of tissue vaporization depth. Chemical peels such as phenol have also been effective in treating facial wrinkles. This is, to our knowledge, the first study comparing the use of CO2 laser to phenol for treatment of wrinkles on the upper lip.

Objective: To compare the effectiveness and side effect profile of the 950 microsec dwell time CO2 laser to that of unoccluded Baker's phenol chemical peel in the treatment of upper lip wrinkles.

Methods: Twenty female subjects with moderate to severe upper lip wrinkles were randomly treated with Baker's phenol on one side of the upper lip and the 950 microsec dwell time CO2 laser on the other side.

Results: The average upper lip laser-treated wrinkle score (0 = none to 5 = severe) decreased from 4.30+/-0.20 before treatment to 1.11+/-0.28 at 6 months after treatment. The average upper lip phenol-treated wrinkle score decreased from 4.20+/-0.20 to 0.47+/-0.12. The degree in which the wrinkle score improved after phenol treatment compared with that after laser treatment was statistically significant (p<0.03).

Conclusion: Treatment of upper lip wrinkles with Baker's phenol resulted in greater improvement than treatment with the 950 microsec dwell time CO2 laser.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Chemexfoliation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Lip / pathology
  • Lip / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenol*
  • Rhytidoplasty* / methods
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Phenol