After a decade of ablative resurfacing, the mainstays remain both the CO2 and erbium lasers. As noted above, the CO2lasers are available in one of two forms: the ultrashort pulsed and the rapidly scanned versions. The UltraPulse is the oldest and most well known of the pulsed versions. The SilkTouch and FeatherTouch were the more popular of the scanned versions. The TruePulse had an ultrashort pulse width and caused the least thermal damage of any CO2 lasers.
The available erbium lasers include short-pulse and variable-pulsed lasers (with a pulse range typically in the microsecond to 10-ms range). Increasing the pulse width correlates directly with an increase in residual thermal damage, providing possible additional benefit as well as potential side effects. Of note, however, the short-pulse erbium lasers are not risk-free. Since the ablation depth of injury is an important factor, and erbium lasers can ablate to significant depths, the risk of scarring can be significant if these lasers are used incorrectly.
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