• ablative;
  • CO2;
  • fractional;
  • hand;
  • laser;
  • rejuvenation


Extrinsic aging of the hands involves alterations in pigmentation, wrinkling, and texture as a result of chronic ultraviolet and environmental exposures. Inherent tissue properties of the skin of the dorsal hand have made it challenging to safely and effectively improve all three parameters of photoaging with a single device. Recent successes with non-ablative fractional lasers on the hands, as well as success of ablative fractional lasers on the neck and chest, raise the question of potential efficacy of ablative lasers for photorejuvenation of the hands. This was a prospective pilot study of ablative fractional CO2 laser in 10 participants, each receiving three treatments to one hand at 4–6-week intervals. Subjective assessments by investigator and participants were performed 1 month after each treatment. At 1-month follow-up after final treatment, investigators rated mean improvement of 26–50% for wrinkles, 51–75% for pigment, and 26–50% for texture. Participants rated mean improvement after final treatment as 26–50% for wrinkles, 51–75% for pigment, and 51–75% for texture. Other than significant edema noted in one participant after the first treatment, side effects were limited to transient erythema and edema, with no long-term scarring or pigmentary alteration. In this pilot study, ablative fractional resurfacing was safe and effective for the treatment of all markers of extrinsic aging of the hands. A high degree of improvement was achieved in two to three treatments with no long-term sequelae.