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Correspondence
May 2002

Rapid Development of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer After CO2 Laser Resurfacing

Author Affiliations

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Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(5):695-696. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.5.695

Various medical and surgical modalities exist to rejuvenate the skin and reverse the effects of photoaging. The most recent development involves high-power pulsed and scanned carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers, which are effective in the treatment of actinically damaged skin and function because they can be used to vaporize the photodamaged epidermis, to stimulate the production of new collagen in the dermis, and to remove lesions associated with aging or photoaging, such as lentigines, actinic keratoses, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in situ, and seborrheic keratoses.1,2 While laser skin resurfacing has been used extensively for the treatment of wrinkled photoaged skin, little has been reported regarding its effectiveness for the treatment of patients with premalignant skin conditions, such as actinic keratoses. One study suggested that laser skin resurfacing effectively clears actinic damage and decreases the rate of formation of new actinic keratoses.1 We describe 2 patients with photoaging without visible actinic keratoses or other premalignant skin lesions who developed nonmelanoma skin cancer on the resurfaced areas less than 6 months after the procedure.

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