RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Carbon dioxide laser excision of earlobe keloids. A prospective study and critical analysis of existing data.

When steroid injections have failed, the most common approach for the treatment of earlobe keloids is surgical excision. The carbon dioxide laser has recently been used with varying reported success in the treatment of keloids and hypertrophic scars. Proponents of this technique claim that the intrinsic properties of laser surgery, which slows fibroblast proliferation, may be responsible for delaying or preventing the recurrence of keloids. We report results on the effectiveness of carbon dioxide laser excision of earlobe keloids. Eighteen patients were followed up from 8 months to 2 years, or up to a recurrence. Four patients within this group with bilateral keloids provided a self-controlled sample. One ear was randomly chosen for laser excision and the other for scalpel excision. There were recurrences in both groups. There were also 17 recurrences in a group of 23 keloids excised by laser, 9 occurring between 6 and 12 months postoperatively. We failed to demonstrate a lower recurrence rate of earlobe keloids using the carbon dioxide laser and discuss some of the factors responsible for this outcome.

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