It has long been known that dermabrasion, chemical peeling, and laser resurfacing can be complicated by the development of a superimposed herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection.1- 3 Because of the selectivity of the pulsed-dye laser (PDL) for cutaneous blood vessels, PDL causes much less trauma to the surrounding skin than other resurfacing tools. Consequently, one would anticipate that development of an HSV infection would be much less likely after PDL than after other resurfacing techniques.4 Indeed, our search of the literature revealed no reports of herpes outbreaks in conjunction with PDL treatment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of such a complication.
Owens III WW, Lang PG. Herpes Simplex Infection and Colonization With Pseudomonas aeruginosa Complicating Pulsed-Dye Laser Treatment. Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(6):760-761. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.6.760