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CO2 Fractional Laser Effective for Hypertrophic Burn Scars

Clinical and histological improvement seen for hypertrophic, but not keloidal, burn scars

doctor with a female patient

TUESDAY, Dec. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fractional carbon dioxide (CO2) laser treatment is effective for hypertrophic burn scars, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Bakr M. El-Zawahry, M.D., from Kasr El-Aini University Hospital in Cairo, and colleagues examined and correlated the clinical and histopathological effects of fractional CO2 laser on thermal burns. Eleven patients with hypertrophic scars and four with keloid scars underwent three CO2 fractional laser sessions every four to six weeks. Half of each scar remained untreated as a control.

The researchers found that in the laser treated area, for hypertrophic scars, but not keloidal scars, there was textural improvement and a significant decrease of Vancouver, POSAS observer, and patient scores by the end of the follow-up period (P = 0.011, 0.017, and 0.018, respectively). A significant decrease was seen in scar thickness in hypertrophic scars only in histopathologic examination (P < 0.001). In the upper dermis of both types of scars there was a significant decrease in collagen bundle thickness and density.

"Fractional CO2 laser is a possible safe and effective modality for the treatment of hypertrophic burn scars with improvement achieved both clinically and histopathologically," the authors write.

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