Author(s): Conologue TD, Norwood C
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Cosmetic results after skin surgery are a key component of patient satisfaction and self-image. Various lasers have been used to attempt scar improvement, without consistent results. The optimal time to initiate laser treatment has not been determined. A recent study using a noncooled 585 nm pulsed dye laser starting on the day of suture removal demonstrated substantial improvement in scar appearance. OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of the 595 nm cryogen-cooled pulsed dye laser in the treatment of surgical scars starting on the day of suture removal. METHODS: Sixteen patients with postoperative linear scars of greater than 2 cm were treated three times at 4- to 8-week intervals with a 595 nm cryogen-cooled pulsed dye laser. All patients had Fitzpatrick skin types I to IV. Each scar was divided at the midline into two fields, with half receiving treatment using a 7 mm spot size at 1.5 ms with 8 J/cm2 and a 30 ms spray duration with a 10 ms delay. The other half was not treated. Scars were evaluated for pigmentation, vascularity, pliability, and height by a blinded examiner using the Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS). In addition, the same blinded examiner evaluated the cosmetic appearance using a scale from 0 (worst) to 10 (best) prior to the second treatment and 1 month after the final treatment. RESULT: SThe average sum of all parameters in the VSS showed significant improvement from 1-month post-treatment to the final evaluation of 60\% compared with the control of -3\%. Also, scars in the treated portions scored an average of 2 points higher in the overall cosmetic appearance by the same blinded examiner based on a scale of 0 (worst) to 10 (best). Among the individual parameters in the VSS, the most significant improvements were found in vascularity and pliability. CONCLUSION: The cryogen-cooled 595 nm pulsed dye laser is a safe and effective option to improve the cosmetic appearance of surgical scars in skin types I to IV starting on the day of suture removal.
This article was published in Dermatol Surg
and referenced in Cosmetology & Oro Facial Surgery