Successful treatment of atrophic facial leishmaniasis scars by co2 fractional laser

Khalid AlGhamdi, Huma Khurrum
Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery 2014, 18 (6): 379-84

BACKGROUND: A permanent, unpleasant atrophic leishmaniasis scar is a potentially disfiguring condition that causes social stigma with limited treatment choices. Fractionated carbon dioxide (CO2) laser resurfacing is expected to be a safe and effective treatment for leishmaniasis scars.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the safety and efficacy of ablative fractional resurfacing (AFR) with a CO2 laser for facial leishmaniasis atrophic scars.

METHODS: Eleven patients (five males, age 18-47 years) underwent the fractional CO2 laser procedure. The mean duration for scars was 18.3 years. Three to five treatment sessions with the fractional laser eCO2 (10,600 nm, Lutronic Corporation, Gyeonggi-do, Korea ) were performed for each patient, at 2-month intervals, under topical anesthesia. Two passes (with tip type 120, density 150 spots/cm2 in static mode, and peak power of 30 watts) were performed on each leishmaniasis scar. Pulse energies ranged between 100 and 140 mJ. Posttreatment improvements in texture, atrophy, and overall satisfaction with appearance were graded on a quartile scale 1 month after the second session and 3 months after the final session. Scar improvement was graded using a 4-point score with a maximum score of 20.

RESULTS: At the 3-month posttreatment follow-up, all subjects were rated as having at least 50% improvement in texture, atrophy, borders, and overall appearance of scars. The median score of improvement was 18 of 20 (range 11-19). Mild postinflammatory hyperpigmentation was the only adverse effect, observed in 18% (2 of 11) of subjects. After the procedure, moderate to severe erythema and edema typically resolved within 24 to 48 hours. No additional adverse effects were observed.

CONCLUSION: Fractional CO2 resurfacing represents a safe, effective, and well-tolerated potential treatment for atrophic facial leishmaniasis scars in ethnic skin.

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