September 1991

Treatment of Ulcerated Hemangiomas With the Pulsed Tunable Dye Laser

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Birthmark Treatment Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver (Drs Morelli and Weston); and Laser Center, Boston (Mass) City Hospital (Dr Tan).

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(9):1062-1064. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160090114036

• Hemangiomas are the most common tumor of infancy and are characterized by rapid growth during the first 6 months of life. During the rapid growth phase, approximately 5% to 10% of the hemangiomas ulcerate. Ulcerated lesions are painful, may bleed, and are at risk for bacterial infection. Previous therapy has included daily local wound care, topical antibiotics, and local and systemic steroids. We treated nine infants (eight female and one male) with ulcerated hemangiomas by means of a vascular-specific (585-nm) pulsed (450-microsecond) tunable dye laser. Eight of the nine patients had a single ulceration, whereas one patient had two ulcerations within a large hemangioma. Six of the ulcerations healed with a single laser treatment. One ulceration required two treatments to heal, and the remaining two required three treatments. Pain was subjectively decreased within 2 to 3 days in all patients after a single treatment. The pulsed tunable dye laser should be considered in the treatment of all ulcerated hemangiomas.

(AJDC. 1991;145:1062-1064)