Fractional ablative carbon dioxide laser resurfacing for skin rejuvenation and acne scars in Asians

Lasers Surg Med. 2010 Nov;42(9):615-23. doi: 10.1002/lsm.20974.


Background and objectives: Ablative fractional resurfacing (AFR) is a new modality for photorejuvenation and acne scars which combines carbon dioxide (CO₂) laser ablation with fractional photothermolysis. The objective is to evaluate the efficacy and side effects of a new fractional CO₂ ablative device (Fraxel Re:pair) for skin rejuvenation and acne scars in Asians.

Materials and methods: Nine patients underwent one full-face treatment. The energy levels ranged from 30-70 mJ with coverage between 30% and 45%. Improvement in skin texture, laxity, wrinkles, enlarged pores, overall pigmentation irregularity, and adverse effects were assessed up to 6 months post-treatment. Standardized photographs using the Canfield Visia CR system® were assessed by two independent observers. Subjective improvement was assessed by patient questionnaires.

Results: Nine Chinese patients (skin types III and IV, mean age 44.8) were included. Statistically significant improvements were seen for skin texture, skin laxity, wrinkles, enlarged pores, and acne scars. The post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation rate was 55.5% and 11.1% at 1 and 6 months post-treatment, respectively. Eighty-six percent of patients were overall satisfied to very satisfied with the treatment.

Conclusion: Ablative fractional CO₂ laser resurfacing was overall safe and effective for skin rejuvenation and acne scars in Asians. However, in view of the high post-inflammatory rate and the statistically significant but only mild to moderate improvement after a single treatment as observed in this study, there is a need to review the current role of fractional ablative CO₂ laser treatment as compared to fractional non-ablative for skin rejuvenation and acne scar treatment in Asians.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / complications*
  • Acne Vulgaris / ethnology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group*
  • China
  • Cicatrix / ethnology
  • Cicatrix / etiology
  • Cicatrix / radiotherapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Lasers, Gas / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rejuvenation
  • Skin Aging*
  • Young Adult