BACKGROUND. A new method for treating facial rhytides and acne scars with nonablative laser and light source techniques has recently been introduced. Given the inherent limitations of photographic and clinical evaluation to assess subtle changes in rhytides and surface topography, a new noninvasive objective assessment is required to accurately assess the outcomes of these procedures. OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to measure and objectively quantify facial skin using a novel, noninvasive, In-vivo method for assessing three-dimensional topography. This device was used to quantify the efficacy of five treatment sessions with the 1064 nm QS Nd:YAG laser for rhytides and acne scarring, for up to six months following laser treatment. METHODS. Two subjects undergoing facial rejuvenation procedures were analyzed before and after therapy using a 30-mm, three-dimensional microtopography imaging system (PRIMOS, GFM, Teltow, Germany). The imaging system projects light on to a specific surface of the skin using a Digital Micromirror Device (DMD™ Texas Instruments, Irving, TX) and records the image with a CCD camera. Skin Surface microtopography is reconstructed using temporal phase shift algorithms to generate three-dimensional images. Measurements were taken at baseline, at various times during the treatment protocol, and then at three and six-month follow-up visits. Silicone skin replicas (FLEXICO, Herts, England) were also made before and after the laser treatment protocol for comparison to In-vivo acquisition. RESULTS. Skin roughness decreased by 11% from baseline after three treatment sessions in the wrinkles subject, while a 26% improvement of skin roughness was recorded by 3D In-vivo assessment six months following the fifth treatment session. The subject with acne scarring demonstrated a 33% decrease in roughness analysis after three treatment sessions by 3D In-vivo assessment. A 61% improvement in surface topography was recorded 3-months following the fifth treatment session, which was maintained at the 6-month follow-up. CONCLUSION. Three-dimensional In-vivo optical skin imaging provided a rapid and quantitative assessment of surface topography and facial fine lines following multiple treatment sessions with a 1064-nm QS Nd:YAG laser, correlating with clinical and subjective responses. This imaging technique provided objective verification and technical understanding of nonablative laser technology. Wrinkle depth and skin roughness decreased at the three and six-month follow-up evaluations by 3D In-vivo assessment, indicating ongoing dermal collagen remodeling after the laser treatment protocol. Future applications may include comparison of nonablative laser technology, optimization of treatment regimens, and objective evaluation of other aesthetic procedures performed by dermatologists.
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