[Chapter Title]: Laser Resurfacing
Khaled S. Al Nuaimi
Fine Care Medical Center, Department of Dermatology
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
[Introduction/ Abstract: 1 paragraph, approx. 150-250 words, don’t include reference citations or undefined abbreviations) …]
Laser resurfacing is a laser treatment to remove acne and chicken pox scars, and changes in the skin due to ageing. Presently, five laser modalities are available for ablative skin resurfacing: scanned carbon dioxide laser, pulsed carbon dioxide laser, pulsed Er:YAG laser, fractional Er:YAG laser resurfacing and a combination of carbon dioxide and Er:YAG lasers. The laser emits an invisible infrared beam that targets both intracellular and extracellular water. When light energy is absorbed by water-containing tissue, skin vaporization occurs. Laser resurfacing not only tightens the skin somewhat but also improves the appearance of lentigines, rhytides, skin cancer, neurofibroma, diffuse actinic keratoses, periorbital and periorbital wrinkles, severe cutaneous photodamage, skin texture, and a wide variety of scars. Ablative lasers vaporize tissue and therefore are more aggressive compared with the gentler nonablative lasers that leave the skin intact. Minor complications although frequent, are usually of minimal consequence and include milia formation, perioral dermatitis, acne and/or rosacea exacerbation, contact dermatitis, and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation (darkening) or erythema (redness) over the treated area is common in coloured skin; however, this is temporary, and gradually improves. More serious complications include localized viral, bacterial, and candidal infection, delayed hypopigmentation, persistent erythema, and prolonged healing. The most severe complications are hypertrophic scarring, disseminated infection, and ectropion. Early detection of complications and rapid institution of appropriate therapy are extremely important. Delay in treatment can have severe deleterious consequences including permanent scarring and dyspigmentation.