May 16, 1990


JAMA. 1990;263(19):2633-2635. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440190089046

In the treatment of benign vascular anomalies, the distinct advantages of the 577-nm pulsed dye laser over other treatment modalities, especially the extremely low risk of scarring, have enabled this laser to become the treatment of choice for many port-wine stains and telangiectasia in adults. More important, it is the treatment of choice for port-wine stains in children—an entity for which previously there existed no reasonably effective treatment. Of 36 port-wine stains treated in children with the pulsed dye laser, 34 cleared completely without adverse effect, while only 2 developed atrophic scarring.1 By treating port-wine stains in early childhood (as early as 3 weeks of age), the psychological burden on the family and the child may be alleviated.

Based on the same concept of producing preferential injury to skin structures by using brief and selectively absorbed laser pulses, pigmented skin structures rather than vascular structures can be selectively damaged.