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Treatment of elastosis perforans serpiginosa with the flashlamp pulsed dye laser.

BACKGROUND: Elastosis perforans serpiginosa (EPS) is an uncommon and chronic dermatosis characterized by the transepidermal elimination of altered elastic fibers originating in the dermis. Frequently arranged in an arcuate or serpiginous pattern, the end stage of the disease is atrophic or stellate-shaped scars.

OBJECTIVE: Prior therapy has primarily involved cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen which may cause scar or keloid formation. We present our experience using the flashlamp pulsed dye laser to treat EPS.

METHODS: A young man with Down syndrome was referred by his primary care physician for treatment of a chronic dermatosis unresponsive to topical therapy. The clinical findings were consistent with EPS, and a biopsy specimen and elastic tissue stain confirmed the diagnosis histologically. After a successful test spot, treatment was begun on the erythematous papules using a flashlamp pulsed dye laser (585 nm) with a 5 mm spot size and fluences of 6.0-7.0 J/cm2.

RESULTS: Treated areas showed moderate to marked improvement overall. There was less erythema, thickness, and scarring in treated areas compared with active or end-stage lesions.

CONCLUSION: The flashlamp pulsed dye laser may be an effective treatment method for EPS.

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