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The Safe Delivery of Fractional Ablative Carbon Dioxide Laser Treatment for Acne Scars in Asian Patients Receiving Oral Isotretinoin

Kim, Hyun Woo MD*; Chang, Sung Eun MD, PhD; Kim, Jeong Eun MD, PhD*; Ko, Joo Yeon MD, PhD*; Ro, Young Suck MD, PhD*

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000185
Original Article

BACKGROUND Because acne scarring is associated with substantially reduced quality of life, early initiation of effective treatment is desirable. In previous reports, isotretinoin treatment was associated with increased scarring after cosmetic procedures, such as laser treatment, dermabrasion, and chemical peeling.

OBJECTIVE To evaluate wound healing after ablative carbon dioxide (CO2) fractional resurfacing for acne scarring conducted during and/or within 1 to 3 months of oral isotretinoin treatment.

MATERIALS AND METHODS The records of 20 patients with facial acne scars were included in this retrospective study. All patients were receiving isotretinoin treatment or had completed it within the previous 1 to 3 months. All patients received full-face fractional ablative CO2 laser treatment. Follow-up was for at least 6 months to evaluate side effects.

RESULTS All patients showed normal reepithelialization and were satisfied with the results of the laser treatments. All adverse events were minor, and there were no hypertrophic scars or keloids.

CONCLUSION Ablative CO2 fractional laser treatment for acne scarring seems to be safe regardless of isotretinoin use (10–60 mg/d). The authors' findings contribute to the discussion of whether oral isotretinoin treatment impairs wound healing after ablative laser treatment.

*Department of Dermatology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea;

Department of Dermatology, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Joo Yeon Ko, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatology, Hanyang University Hospital, Seoul 133-792, Korea, or e-mail:

Supported by the research fund of Hanyang University (HY-2011-N).

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

© 2014 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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