In an effort to reduce downtime and speed healing for patients with acne scars undergoing fractional ablative laser treatments, researchers evaluated the efficacy and safety of topical 0.5% timolol maleate (TM) and its effect on the skin's biophysical properties after laser treatment. Their findings were published in the Journal of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (July 2021).
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This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 25 healthy participants aged 18-50 years. All participants had atrophic acne scars for at least three months. After undergoing ablative fractional CO2 laser therapy, the participants applied 0.5% TM to one cheek and normal saline to the contralateral cheek (control) for seven days.
The researchers evaluated corneometry, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), colorimetry and clinical outcome parameters (erythema, edema, crusting, pruritus and tightness scores) at baseline and 48, 96 and 168 hours after treatment.
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The TM-treated side showed statistically higher corneometry values and lower TEWL than the control side at every follow-up visit. The crusting score at 96 hours post-AFCO2 treatment was also significantly better on the TM side. There were no adverse events recorded during the follow-up period.
The authors concluded that the application of topical 0.5% TM twice daily improves skin barrier function and might promote re-epithelialization after ablative laser procedures.