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Laser treatment improves appearance in burn scars, study shows
Date:7/16/2012

CINCINNATIIn a collaboration among researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC), Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenCincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, burn and skin specialists have shown that use of a pulsed-dye laser tool improves the appearance, texture and elasticity of burn scars.

The study, published online ahead of print in the journal Dermatological Surgery, compared the use of the pulsed-dye laser and compression therapy on scars against compression therapy alone for pediatric burn patients.

Lead author and UC burn surgery researcher J. Kevin Bailey, MD, says it's the first time the laser has been shown to improve the condition of scars with this kind of objective data.

Though survival from severe burns has improved markedly in recent years, Bailey says multiple treatment options have been used for scar management with no clearly superior method. Instead, burn specialists relied on clinical judgment and experience to evaluate treatments, including the pulsed-dye laser.

"Based on subjective judgments, everyone says it works. I was not convinced," Bailey says.

Working with researchers in UC's surgery department and the university's James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy, along with skin specialists at Cincinnati Children's, Bailey said he set out to prove whether the laser conclusively improved scars on several measurements of skin condition, including redness, elasticity and scar thickness.

Participants in the study were pediatric patients undergoing burn scar reconstruction with newly healed skin grafts. While patients had compression therapy across the length of the graft, researchers applied laser treatments to one half of their graft seam at six-week intervals.

Then, researchers evaluated the treatment areas using high-resolution digital photography, 3-D laser surface scanning of topography and standardized assessment of biomechanical properties, or measur
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Contact: Katy Cosse
kathryn.cosse@uc.edu
513-558-0207
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert

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