Objective To evaluate the role of skin care products that contain a copper tripeptide complex, glycyl-l-histidyl-l-lysine-Cu2+ (GHK-Cu), in treating carbon dioxide (CO2) laser–resurfaced skin.
Methods Patients meeting the inclusion criteria underwent circumoral skin resurfacing using a CO2 laser at standard settings. Patients were then randomized to receive posttreatment skin regimens with or without GHK-Cu. Evaluations for erythema throughout the posttreatment period were performed using computer software and blinded evaluators. In addition, overall improvement in wrinkles and overall improvement in skin appearance 12 weeks after treatment were assessed. Patients completed a validated questionnaire before and 12 weeks after treatment.
Results Thirteen patients completed the study. Computer analysis and blinded evaluators found no statistically significant differences between groups for earlier resolution of erythema. All the patients experienced significant improvement in wrinkles and overall skin quality, but no differences were found between groups. The results of the questionnaire indicated a significant difference in the posttreatment improvement of overall skin quality for patients using GHK-Cu (P = .04).
Conclusions Copper tripeptide complex (GHK-Cu) skin care products placed on CO2 laser–resurfaced skin offered no significant reduction or resolution of posttreatment erythema. Objective evaluation found no significant improvement in wrinkles or overall skin quality. However, patient satisfaction was significantly higher for those who used GHK-Cu skin care products after CO2 laser skin resurfacing.