Author(s): Smith KJ, Skelton HG, Graham JS, Hurst CG, Hackley BE Jr
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Pulsed carbon dioxide (CO2) laser debridement is now being used as therapy for photodamaged skin. It has been proposed that the long duration of erythema and a tissue scaffold, which results from tightening of the collagen helix induced by the laser heat, may lead to tightening of sagging skin and skin creases of lesser magnitude. METHODS: Weanling pigs exposed to mild and moderate erythema producing doses of sulfur mustard (bis-2-chloroethyl sulfide; HD) were treated with the CO2 laser (Tru-Pulse) at 6, 24, and 48 hours after exposure. In addition to histologic examination of laser-debrided and nondebrided biopsy specimens obtained at 14 days after exposure, immunohistochemical staining with antibodies to smooth muscle actin, Factor XIIIa, vimentin, and CD3 was performed. RESULTS: CO2 laser debridement of the HD-exposed skin resulted in clearing of the cytologic atypia induced by this chemical carcinogen and reduced the inflammatory infiltrate. In addition laser debridement resulted in increased numbers of stromal cells within the papillary dermis, which showed immunohistochemical staining for smooth muscle actin, Factor XIIIa, and vimentin. CONCLUSIONS: CO2 laser debridement is effective in clearing the epidermis of cytologically damage cells in HD as well as solar-damaged skin. In addition CO2 laser debridement may result in tightening of sagging skin and produce a decrease in skin creases initially, by inducing increased stromal cells within the papillary dermis, with prominent contractile actin filaments. The collagen produced by these stromal cells may subsequently maintain these improvements in the photoaged skin.
This article was published in Dermatol Surg
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research