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Treatment of Surgical Scars Using a 595-nm Pulsed Dye Laser Using Purpuric and Nonpurpuric Parameters: A Comparative Study

Gladsjo, Julie, Akiko, MD, PhD1; Jiang, Shang, I. Brian, MD1

doi: 10.1111/dsu.12406
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
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BACKGROUND Many studies have examined laser treatment of scars, but cosmetic results have been variable. Although no studies have examined the effect of purpura on scar improvement using the pulsed dye laser (PDL), many clinicians believe inducing purpura results in better and quicker improvement.

OBJECTIVE To determine whether PDL treatment of fresh surgical scars with purpura-inducing settings improves clinical appearance more than non-purpura-inducing settings or no treatment.

METHODS Twenty-six subjects with surgical scars enrolled in this prospective study. Scars were divided into three equal segments; treatment was randomized: 595-nm PDL with purpuric (1.5 ms) or nonpurpuric (10 ms) settings or no treatment. Fluences were adjusted to Fitzpatrick skin type. Scars were treated three times, 1 month apart, beginning at suture removal. Outcome measures included Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS) and blind clinical ratings.

RESULTS The nonpurpuric condition showed significant improvement on the VSS total score, vascularity, and pliability ratings. The purpuric condition demonstrated a trend for improvement on the VSS total. According to blind observer ratings, all conditions improved, without differences between groups.

CONCLUSION Nonpurpuric settings on the PDL resulted in significant improvements in the appearance of fresh surgical scars for vascularity, pliability, and VSS total scores, although all scar segments improved over time.

1Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of California at San Diego, San Diego, California,

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Shang I.Brian Jiang, MD, 8899 University Center Lane, Suite 350, MC 0975, San Diego, California 92122, or e-mail: bjiang@ucsd.edu

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

© 2014 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc.
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