(HealthDay News) – Laser therapy is safe and effective for hypertrophic scar management, according to a meta-analysis published in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Rui Jin, MD, from Shanghai Second Medical University, and colleagues conducted a literature review and meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of laser therapy for hypertrophic scars and keloids. The meta-analysis included 28 clinical trials involving 919 patients.

The researchers found that the overall response rate for laser therapy was 71%, 68%, and 72%, respectively, for scar prevention, hypertrophic scar treatment, and keloid treatment. Among all laser systems, the best responses were seen with the 585/595nm pulsed-dye laser and 532nm laser subgroups. Laser therapy reduced total Vancouver Scar Scale scores, scar height, and scar erythema in pooled estimates of hypertrophic scar studies. The optimal treatment interval was five to six weeks for pulsed-dye laser therapy. The therapeutic effect of pulsed-dye laser therapy was better for patients with lower Fitzpatrick skin type scores.

“Further research is required to determine the mechanism of action for different laser systems and to examine the efficacy in quantifiable parameters, such as scar erythema, scar texture, degrees of symptom relief, recurrence rates, and adverse effects,” the authors write.

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