Thermographic and histological evaluation of laser skin resurfacing scans

Bernard Choi, Eric K. Chan, Jennifer K. Barton, Sharon L. Thomsen, Ashley J. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In general, ablative laser skin resurfacing procedures have shown good short-term efficacy. However, the mchanisms underlying laser skin resurfacing remain poorly understood. We performed a quantitative study to investigate the thermal response of skin to CO2 laser irradiation. Raster scans were performed on an in vivo rat model and radiometric surface temperatures measured using a thermal camera. Temperatures approaching 400°C were measured during the scans and remained above the initial skin temperature for durations longer than ten seconds. Analysis of histology sections showed that the epidermis remained partially intact after three passess. To explain the observed trends in the temperature response and histology, the dynamics of optical and thermal parameters were investigated. Water vaporization played a key role in governing the response of the skin to subsequent laser passes. Char formation and pulse stacking altered the thermal effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1116-1126
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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