Lasers in Treating Keloid Lesions: Can the Treatment Be Harmful to Some Patients? Results of an Online Survey.


Background: Lasers in Treating Keloid Lesions are among the most commonly used tools in the daily practice of dermatology. Although there are several reports about the utility and efficacy of laser treatment in keloid lesions, there is a paucity of literature as to how keloid patients perceive the efficacy of this modality.

Objective: To assess patients’ perception of the efficacy of lasers in the treatment of keloid lesions.

Material and methods: The underlying survey study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). An online keloid survey was launched in November 2011. Survey participants were asked to provide answers to numerous questions about their keloid disorder, including their perception of the efficacy of lasers for the treatment of their keloidal lesions. Descriptive statistics are provided.

Results: As of November 18, 2018, a total of 1,671 individuals had participated in this survey. Of those, 194 participants indicated that they had received at least one laser treatment for treatment of their keloids; among those, 177 provided an assessment of the benefit of this intervention. Five participants (2.8 %) reported that laser treatment cured their keloids; 47 participants (26.6%) reported having benefited from the treatment; 88 participants (48.0%) reported no improvements; but most interestingly, 40 participants (22.6%) reported that laser treatment caused worsening of their keloids.

Conclusions and Relevance: With several limitations, this study represents the first step in developing a patient-reported measure of treatment success and benefit from laser treatment. The most important finding of this study is that 22.6% of the study participants reported worsening of their keloids with this treatment. Worsening of keloids after laser treatments has not yet been reported by others.


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