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Dermatol Surg. 2002 Apr;28(4):305-8.

The effect of a mucopolysaccharide-cartilage complex healing ointment on Er:YAG laser resurfaced facial skin.

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St. Lukes-Roosevelt Department of Dermatology, New York, New York 10019, USA.



There are several types of dressings which may be utilized after facial laser resurfacing. Laser surgeons favoring the open type of dressing have used the Aquaphor original formula to reduce the loss of moisture from laser resurfaced skin. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of a mucopolysaccharide-cartilage complex (MCC) containing healing ointment with the standard therapy of Aquaphor ointment in treating erythema, edema, and skin erosion caused by Er:YAG laser resurfacing of facial skin.


To compare healing time after Er:YAG laser resurfacing treated side-by-side with MCC as compared with Aquaphor.


Nineteen patients completing Er:YAG laser resurfacing were randomly assigned to receive MCC healing ointment on one side of their face and standard therapy with Aquaphor on the other for eight consecutive treatment days. Immediately after surgery and again on days 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8, the severity of erythema, edema, and erosion was scored on a 0-3 scale (0 = no observable effect, 1 = mild, 2 = moderate, 3 = severe). Photographs were taken at each follow-up visit. Following scoring on study day 0, the day of resurfacing, treatment was applied according to the left or right assignment code of the randomization schedule.


Mean severity ratings for all variables (erythema, edema, and erosion) were consistently lower for MCC healing ointment as compared to Aquaphor ointment. Based on the calculated overall efficacy index, MCC ointment was statistically superior to Aquaphor for all three variables: erythema, P <.001; edema, P =.017; erosion, P <.001.


The results of our study demonstrate that MCC healing ointment may provide an advantage over the standard therapy of Aquaphor ointment in the treatment of edema, erosion, and erythema caused by laser resurfacing of facial skin. Mean daily severity scores were consistently lower and improvement tended to occur earlier with MCC healing ointment.

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