The 595 nm pulsed dye laser (PDL) may provide an effective option for nonvascular conditions, such as scars, acne and molluscum contagiosum, according to a recent review. However, evidence from large, randomized controlled trials makes drawing firm conclusions difficult.
Researchers led by Emily Forbat, MBBS, of the dermatology unit at Warwick Hospital in Warwick, U.K., reviewed a total of 84 studies and concluded that PDL has demonstrated efficacy in acne, scar remodeling and prevention, post-filler bruising, nail psoriasis, low-risk basal cell carcinoma and warts.1 Some studies, however, showed no significant differences between PDL and more conventional regimens. Additionally, variable results have emerged in plaque psoriasis. The review appeared online in April 2019 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
“While the review is a good collection and summarization of a lot of studies,” says Emmy Graber, M.D., MBA, who was not involved with the study, “there’s a paucity of large-scale, randomized, controlled studies looking at the pulsed dye laser for nonvascular indications. So it’s very hard to draw conclusions from this study.” She is president of the Dermatology Institute of Boston and an a liate clinical instructor at Northeastern University.
Forbat et al. reviewed 12 acne studies, but these studies included fewer than 400 patients total. Among the indications reviewed, Dr. Graber is most familiar with PDL in acne.
“And there are a lot of studies out there. But they’re all small, and they have varying conclusions. Often different parameters or settings are used on the pulsed dye laser. So, you can’t compare one to another,” she says.
Dr. Graber has received research funding from Sebacia.
1. Forbat E, Al-Niaimi F. Nonvascular uses of pulsed dye laser in clinical dermatology. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019Apr 19. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12924. [Epub ahead of print]
2. Lekwuttikarn R, Tempark T, Chatproedprai S, et al. Controlled trial split-faced study of 595-nm pulsed dye laser in the treatment of acne vulgaris and acne erythema in adolescence and early adulthood. Int J Dermatol. 2017;56:884-888.
3. Shokeir H, El Bedewi A, Sayed S, et al. Effi cacy of pulsed dye laser versus intense pulsed light in the treatment of striae distensae. Dermatol Surg. 2014;40:632-640.