A Novel Treatment of Acne Keloidalis Nuchae by Long-Pulsed Alexandrite Laser

Abeer Tawfik, Mai Abdelraouf Osman, Iman Rashwan
Dermatologic Surgery: Official Publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et Al.] 2018, 44 (3): 413-420

BACKGROUND: Acne keloidalis nuchae (AKN) is a dermatological condition characterized by follicular-based papules and pustules that later form hypertrophic or keloid-like scars. Laser-assisted hair reduction such as 810-nm diode laser and 1,064-nm Nd:YAG laser have been used for treating AKN with promising results.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the therapeutic effect and safety of alexandrite laser in the treatment of different lesions of AKN.

METHODS: Seventeen male patients with AKN received 6 sessions of 755-nm alexandrite laser. Papule and pustule count, keloidal plaque size, pliability, tenderness, and itching were assessed at the fourth session and 4 weeks after the sixth session. Patient satisfaction and Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) questionnaire were performed at the end of treatment. Patients were followed up for 3 months after the final treatment.

RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in the mean papule, pustule count, keloidal plaque size, and pliability at the fourth and sixth laser sessions when compared with baseline. Reduction of the hair density in the treated area is the only complication observed, which was accepted by the patients because of its reversible course. There was a statistically significantly higher percentage of improvement in the early lesions (papulopustular) compared with late (keloidal plaque) lesions. By the end of laser sessions, DLQI scores were significantly reduced. Temporary hair loss was noted in 4 patients in the treated sites. No lesional recurrence was detected in the follow-up period.

CONCLUSION: Using 755-nm alexandrite laser for treatment of AKN is a safe and effective procedure with low recurrence rates. Alexandrite laser can significantly improve the quality of life of those patients suffering from this disfiguring chronic disorder.

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