BACKGROUND. The use of short-pulsed CO2 lasers for skin resurfacing is routinely performed, but few studies have examined postsurgical care. OBJECTIVE. To determine which postoperative treatments are most beneficial in promoting optimal healing after laser resurfacing. METHODS. Four pigs received laser resurfacing. The laser sites were randomly left untreated or treated with petroleum-based ointment or dressed with 1 of the following occlusive dressings: hydrocolloid, hydrogel or foam. Biopsies were taken from each treatment group on Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 12, and 19. All samples were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Each histological slide was evaluated by a blinded investigator. RESULTS. Differences were observed between treatment groups in the amount of cellular infiltrate, presence of necrotic tissue, progression of the epidermal sheet, maturation of the epidermis, presence of rete ridges, and appearance of new collagen. CONCLUSION. Postoperative treatments after laser resurfacing vary in their ability to influence the quality of healing.
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