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Article
April 1996

Laser Skin Resurfacing

Author Affiliations

Washington University School of Medicine One Barnes Hospital Plaza, Suite 16411 St Louis, MO 63110; Boston, Mass

Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(4):451-455. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890280115016
Abstract

The zone of thermal damage can be reduced by applying the principle of selective photo thermolysis,8 which states that selective heating can be achieved by preferential laser light absorption and heat production in the target chromophore with heat being localized to the target by a pulse duration shorter than or equal to the thermal relaxation time (time for the target to cool by 63%) of the chromophore. The thermal relaxation time for the 20 to 30 μm thickness of water-containing tissue that absorbs the CO2 laser light is less than 1 millisecond.9

To limit collateral thermal damage, the CO2 laser has to be pulsed or scanned across the tissue with a tissue dwell time less than or equal to the thermal relaxation time (1 millisecond). In addition, sufficient energy has to be delivered in that short time to achievetissue vaporization with a single pulse or

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