Effect of topical vitamin C on postoperative carbon dioxide laser resurfacing erythema.

Alster TS, West TB

Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, Washington, DC, USA.

BACKGROUND: Postoperative erythema of several months duration is a universal and problematic side effect of cutaneouscarbon dioxide (CO2) laser resurfacing. OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted in order to determine the effectiveness oftwo formulations of topical ascorbic acid in reducing the degree and duration of post-CO2 laser resurfacing erythema.

RESULTS: The application of topical L-ascorbic acid in an aqueous formulation resulted in a significant decrease in post-CO2laser resurfacing erythema by the eighth postoperative week when compared with laser-irradiated skin that had not receivedtopical vitamin C. The application of topical ascorbic acid in a cream formulation did not result in a significant reduction inpost-CO2 laser resurfacing erythema. CONCLUSION: Topical L-ascorbic acid, when used in an appropriate vehicle andwhen initiated at an appropriate postoperative period, may decrease the degree and duration of erythema after cutaneous CO2laser resurfacing. It is presumed that the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin C is responsible for the clinical changes observed inthis study.

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