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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Er:YAG laser for the treatment of actinic keratoses.

BACKGROUND: There is no single optimal treatment for multiple facial actinic keratoses. The existing therapies such as topical 5-fluorouracil, chemical peels, cryotherapy, dermabrasion, and CO2 laser resurfacing can produce prolonged recovery time or are often operator dependent. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate another therapeutic modality which provides a shorter recovery time with uniform results. We performed a prospective pilot study investigating the use of the Er:YAG laser for the treatment of multiple facial actinic keratoses. METHODS: Five patients with multiple facial actinic keratoses were treated with two to three passes of Er:YAG laser. Anesthesia was achieved in all cases by topical application and local infiltration when indicated. All patients were treated with 2.0 J, 5 mm spot size, and a fluence of 10 J/cm2. Clinical and histologic evaluations were performed both pre- and postoperatively. RESULTS: All patients showed a decrease in the total number of clinical actinic keratoses on the face ranging from 86 to 96%. In addition to the reversal of actinic damage in the epidermis, histologic evidence revealed increased fibroplasia and decreased superficial solar elastosis 3 months after the laser resurfacing. Reepithelialization occurred in 5-8 days, and erythema lasted for about 3-6 weeks after the procedure. There was no evidence of scarring or pigmentary changes in any of the patients during the follow-up period. CONCLUSION: Er:YAG laser skin resurfacing is a safe and effective treatment for multiple facial actinic keratoses. Histologic data suggest a new zone of collagen deposition occurs in the superficial papillary dermis. Under our current parameters, Er:YAG laser skin resurfacing has a relatively short recovery period and a low risk of scarring. Unlike the CO2 laser, Er:YAG laser skin resurfacing can be performed with topical anesthesia alone.[1]


  1. Er:YAG laser for the treatment of actinic keratoses. Jiang, S.B., Levine, V.J., Nehal, K.S., Baldassano, M., Kamino, H., Ashinoff, R.A. Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]. (2000) [Pubmed]
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