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02-02-2012 | Article

CO2 fractional laser therapy ‘improves appearance of aging eyes’


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MedWire News: A skin resurfacing technique known as "CO2 fractional laser therapy" is effective for tightening the skin around the eyes, without significant side effects, say Italian doctors.

CO2 fractional laser therapy is a pioneering technique that combines standard carbon dioxide laser therapy - currently considered the gold standard in wrinkle removal - with a new application technique that minimizes the risk for laser-induced skin injury by targeting smaller areas of skin, meaning that the skin heals faster.

In this study, Dr Nicola Bruscino and colleagues at the University of Florence evaluated CO2 fractional laser therapy in people wishing to have the skin around their eyes tightened.

"The periorbital region [area around the eyes] is like a barometer of chronologic and environmental age for which patients often seek cosmetic rejuvenation," explain Dr Bruscino and team writing in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

Age-related skin changes in this region include looseness of the eyelid skin, overgrowth of muscles and fat around the eye, and sagging of the forehead and eyebrows.

Dr Bruscino's team treated a total of 45 patients with CO2 fractional laser therapy. Most individuals had two or three sessions and all were assessed by independent dermatologists at regular intervals following treatment.

One year after the last treatment, all 45 patients were judged to have improvements in eyelid skin tightness, skin texture, and fine lines, as compared with before laser therapy.

The degree of improvement was rated "excellent" in five patients, "marked" in 11, "moderate" in 15, and "slight" in 14.

Additionally, at 1 year, more than four out of five patients were judged to have elevated eyebrows, causing their eyes to appear wider and more open, whereas the remainder showed no eyebrow elevation.

Importantly, the majority of patients said they were "very satisfied" with the treatment. No patient said they were "unsatisfied" but four patients said they were "not very satisfied," primarily because they had suffered redness that took several days to subside.

Other side effects were as expected, such as transient swelling, crusting, mild itching, and discomfort. No patient suffered serious side effects such excessive pigmentation, blistering, scarring, or infection.

"Fractional CO2 laser treatment can be regarded as a very promising technique in eyelid skin tightening, the reduction of periorbital fine lines, and eyebrow elevation, endowing a more youthful appearance to patients," Dr Bruscino and colleagues conclude.

"This treatment is safe, without serious side effects, with low downtime and increased patient satisfaction."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Joanna Lyford