Los Angeles — Results of a recently completed study suggest that fractional carbon dioxide laser skin resurfacing produces the same post-treatment molecular changes as fully ablative carbon dioxide laser treatments, HealthDay News reports.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center took biopsies of neck skin from nine subjects prior to their undergoing laser resurfacing of photodamaged face and neck skin with a fractional CO2 laser. Additional biopsies were taken one, two and three weeks after the procedure.
After extracting RNA from the specimens, investigators analyzed and compared protein expression at the different time points. They found statistically significant alterations in gene expression for several matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), indicating a consistent up-regulation of MMPs 1, 3, 9 and 13 — similar to what has been reported for fully ablative CO2 laser resurfacing.
There also were statistically significant increases in MMP-10 and MMP-11 levels.
“While comparisons cannot be drawn from this study about the degree of collagen reorganization in fractional versus fully ablative CO2 laser resurfacing, the data from our experiment demonstrate that the molecular pathways are very similar,” the authors wrote.
“Given these findings, fractional CO2 laser resurfacing appears to be a promising technique for limiting recovery and potential adverse effects, while still providing effective rejuvenation of aging facial skin.”
One study author reported receiving travel funding from Alma Lasers, which funded the study. Another researcher serves as a consultant on that company’s medical advisory board.
The study appears in the September/October issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.