Problems and complications of full-face carbon dioxide laser resurfacing for pathological lesions of the skin Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Facial resurfacing with a CO2 laser has been used for treatment of pathologic lesions and for cosmetic purposes. Postoperative complications and problems after laser resurfacing include infections, acneiform lesions, and pigment changes. This retrospective study describes the most common problems and complications in 105 patients and assesses postoperative pain in 38 patients. STUDY DESIGN: All patients received CO2 laser resurfacing for treatment of malignant/premalignant lesions and had postoperative follow-up to assess problems and complications. Some had follow-up to assess postoperative pain. All patients had Fitzpatrick I-III skin types and underwent the same perioperative care regimen. RESULTS: There were 11 problems and 2 complications. Problems included infection, acneiform lesion/milia, and uncontrolled postoperative pain. Complications included hyperpigmentation. Among the postoperative pain group, 53% reported no pain and the rest had mild or moderate pain. CONCLUSION: Complications are rare. Infection and acneiform lesions/milia were the most common problems, as previously reported. Most patients do not experience postoperative pain.

author list (cited authors)

  • Read-Fuller, A. M., Yates, D. M., Vu, D. D., Hoopman, J. E., & Finn, R. A.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016 11:11 AM