Pediatric capillary malformations respond to pulsed dye laser therapy

Sept. 28, 2010
The pulsed dye laser (PDL) can treat capillary malformations in children and, in exceptional circumstances, infantile hemangiomas, as reported by Dermatology Times.

The pulsed dye laser (PDL) can treat capillary malformations in children and, in exceptional circumstances, infantile hemangiomas, as reported by Dermatology Times.

"Although somewhat controversial, I do not usually use lasers to treat non-ulcerated infantile hemangiomas in the first nine months of life," says Beth Drolet, M.D., chief of pediatric dermatology, Medical College of Wisconsin, and medical director, Birthmarks and Vascular Anomalies Center, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. "There is a higher incidence of ulceration when the pulsed dye lasers are used for infantile hemangiomas in young babies."

Some clinicians, such as those at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of New York, are investigating the response to fractional radiofrequency with a device known as eMatrix (Syneron), which received approval from the FDA for cosmetic uses. Investigators are exploring the impact of combination therapy involving fractional radiofrequency treatments and pulsed dye laser treatments to optimize results in some patients.

A study published in Dermatologic Surgery examined the effect of a 585 nm pulsed dye laser to treat recalcitrant warts in children. The retrospective analysis found that 75 percent of 61 patients experienced complete clearance of their warts after an average of three treatments. At 24 months follow-up, 75 percent of patients who were included in the study were still free of warts.

Some children tolerate laser therapy very well, while others do not. There are no predictors for how well a child may tolerate laser therapy, according to Dr. Drolet.

"The laser that we use very rarely scars, because it is designed not to go deep into the skin," Dr. Drolet says. "It is a pretty good modality, but the downside is that it requires so many treatments."

Repeat procedures are typically needed to treat capillary malformations, and the success rate is about 80 percent. Dr. Drolet notes that an average of six to 20 treatments are required.

Source: Dermatology Times

Posted by Lee Mather

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