Treating wrinkles with lasers has turned out to be ‘very effective’ according to recent research. A special lense has been used to treat wrinkles and signs of ageing caused by UV damage with good success rates and high satisfaction from the women in the study.
Forty women with wrinkles caused by sun damage participated in the study, with each receiving treatments to the full face at one-month intervals for six months.
When doctors were blinded to the improvements, they rated the results from improved to much improved at one, three and six-month time points.
According to a special wrinkle rating system, the Fitzpatrick wrinkle score, the overall average change in rating was 1.97 – the average at the beginning of the study was 5.48, and at the six-month follow-up appointment, the average score was 3.47. Individual women’s results varied, however, with some seeing excellent results, while others were more moderate.
Ninety per cent of the subjects (that is, 36 out of the 40 women) were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the results.
So what’s the Fitzpatrick wrinkle scale?
To understand these results – and how good they were or weren’t – we need to understand the Fitzpatrick wrinkle scale to evaluate the ratings, and remember that an ‘average’ is just that – all the scores added up, then divided by the number of participants.
There are three classes of wrinkling:
- (I) Fine wrinkles
- (II) Fine-to-moderate-depth wrinkles and a moderate number of lines
- (III) Fine-to-deep wrinkles, numerous lines, with or without skin folds
And then there are scores for sun damage (known as elastosis):
- 1-3: mild, with fine texture changes, subtly accentuated skin lines
- 4-6: moderate, distinct elastosis and colour changes
- 7-9: severe, thickened, yellow and pallid skin, heavy skin damage
So what does this mean?
As you can see, the initial results were at the high end of the moderate wrinkling and skin damage scale, whereas at the end of the six months of treatments, the wrinkles and damage was at the low end of the moderate scale. This means that lasers can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
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