According to dermatologists in the U.S. laser treatment is a more effective way of removing wrinkles than some newer procedures.
The dermatologists from the University of Michigan say using carbon dioxide laser resurfacing allows for more precise treatment and gives surgeons far more control over the resurfacing procedure than is possible with techniques such as chemical peels and dermabrasion.
The dermatologists, doctors Daniel Ward and Shan Baker say while there were some side-effects, such as lightening or darkening of the skin, the treatment is very effective and the side-effects almost always clear up.
During the process the carbon dioxide laser vaporizes water molecules inside and outside of cells, inflicting thermal damage on the surrounding tissue, this causes the skin to produce more of the protein collagen, which fills in wrinkles.
The dermatologists say in addition to structural changes, the healing process frequently leads to pigment changes in the skin which may sometimes be desirable, such as when patients wish to remove solar evidence of aging.
The treatment however can also cause outbreaks of the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores and skin blistering.
In a search for alternatives which do not either bleach the colour out of the skin or cause uneven darkened patches, Dr. Ward and Dr. Baker studied 42 women and 5 men with an average age of 52 who had laser resurfacing of the entire face between 1996 and 2004.
While they found that some experienced complications, 45 percent had none and most of the complications which were acne or milia disappeared when treated.
The dermatologists say only one had a herpes outbreak and one developed sagging eyelids.
They say treating facial wrinkles with the carbon dioxide laser is well established, and the short and long-term use of the carbon dioxide laser in treating solar facial aging has previously been documented and their results verify those of previous studies.
Experts say in terms of results, carbon dioxide laser resurfacing remains the gold standard, as other types of lasers do not reduce wrinkles as well as carbon dioxide lasers.
The research is published in the journal Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery.