Author(s): Graber EM, Tanzi EL, Alster TS
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Abstract BACKGROUND: A novel 1,550-nm erbium-doped laser (Fraxel, Reliant Technologies Inc.) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of photodamaged skin and scars with minimal postoperative recovery; however, studies evaluating its side effects and complication rates have been limited. PURPOSE: The purpose was to determine the frequency and range of side effects and complications associated with fractional photothermolysis treatment. METHODS: A retrospective evaluation of 961 successive 1,550-nm erbium-doped laser treatments in patients of various skin phototypes (I-V) was conducted in a single center. Side effects and complications of treatment, including time of onset and duration, were identified and tabulated. Patient demographics and laser parameters were also assessed. RESULTS: Seventy-three treatments (7.6\%) resulted in development of complications. The most frequent complications were acneiform eruptions (1.87\%) and herpes simplex virus outbreaks (1.77\%). Side effects and complications were equally distributed across different ages, skin types, body locations, laser parameters, and underlying skin conditions, except for postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, which occurred with increased frequency in patients with darker skin phototypes. CONCLUSIONS: Fractional laser skin treatment is associated with a relatively low complication rate. Side effects and complications observed in this study were temporary and did not result in long-term or significantly severe sequelae (e.g., scarring).
This article was published in Dermatol Surg
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research