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Skin tightening induced by fractional CO2 laser treatment: Quantified assessment of variations in mechanical properties of the skin


Michael Naouri, MD, 4 Place du général Leclerc, 94130 Nogent sur Marne, France. E-mail:


Background  Certain authors have reported the efficacy of fractional resurfacing laser treatment in patients with photodamaged skin resulting in skin tightening of treated area.

Objective  To assess skin tightening after CO2 fractional resurfacing laser treatment by measuring variations in mechanical properties in treated areas. Dermal elasticity was measured using suction applied with an in vivo skin elasticity meter (Cutometer®).

Methods  A prospective observational study was undertaken from January 2007 to August 2009. Laser treatment was performed with the SmartXide Dot® (Deka®, Firenze, Italy) CO2 fractional resurfacing device. Patients were offered quantified analysis using the Cutometer® before and after treatment.

Results  Seventeen patients (61 areas treated) were included in the study. Median delay between before and after cutometric evaluations was 80 days. We found significant improvement in elastic (R2 +5.9%), viscoelastic (R8 −9.4%), fatigue (R3 and R9 −16.2% and −19.7%, respectively), and thickness (R0 −14.9%) parameters. These results are consistent with significant tightening and also elastic tissue improvement.

Conclusions  It was possible to quantify skin tightening because of CO2 fractional laser treatment using a noninvasive technique.