A Review of Laser Therapies for the Treatment of Scarring and Vascular Anomalies

Johanna H. Nunez, Amy L. Strong, Paul Comish, Geoffrey E. Hespe, Jalen Harvey, Michael Sorkin, Benjamin Levi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Significance: Laser use has become part of the gold standard of treatment as an effective adjuvant in multimodal therapy for pathologic scarring caused by burns, trauma, acne, and surgery, as well as vascular anomalies. Understanding indications and applications for laser therapy is essential for physicians to improve patient outcomes. Recent Advances: Since the 1980s, the medical use of lasers has continuously evolved with improvements in technology. Novel lasers and fractionated technologies are currently being studied in the hopes to improve treatment efficacy, while reducing complications. Recent advancements include acne treatment with novel picosecond lasers, new hypertrophic scar therapies with simultaneous laser and intense pulsed light use, and novel systems such as lasers with intralesional optical fiber delivery devices. In addition, optimizing the timing of laser therapy and its use in multimodal treatments continue to advance the field of photothermolysis. Critical Issues: Selecting the correct laser for a given indication is the fundamental decision when choosing a laser balancing effective treatment with minimal complications. This article covers the principles of laser therapy, the preferred lasers used for the treatment of scarring and vascular anomalies, and discusses the current evidence behind these laser choices. Future Directions: To optimize laser therapy, larger randomized control trials and split scar studies are needed. Continued advancement through better randomized controlled studies will help to improve patient outcomes on a broader scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-84
Number of pages17
JournalAdvances in Wound Care
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Acne scar
  • Hypertrophic scar
  • Keloid
  • Laser treatment
  • Vascular anomalies

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