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The Cutting Edge: Challenges in Medical and Surgical Therapies
Oct 2011

Use of a Fractional Ablative 10.6- μm Carbon Dioxide Laser in the Treatment of a Morphea-Related Contracture

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(10):1148-1150. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.247

The advent of ablative fractional laser technology has introduced potential new therapeutic options for patients with skin conditions involving fibrosis and scarring. We describe our experience using ablative fractional laser therapy in a patient with a morphea-related contracture refractory to conventional treatment.

A 27-year-old Hispanic woman was seen in the Naval Medical Center San Diego's dermatology clinic at 30 weeks' gestation with a 1-year history of brown patches and plaques that started on the trunk and subsequently spread to include her thighs, left medial knee, and left dorsal foot. These nontender, mildly pruritic areas had become progressively larger and more rigid during the course of her pregnancy. The patient denied any history of autoimmune disease but reported systemic lupus erythematosus in several maternal aunts. The patient denied the presence of chills, fever, weight loss, arthralgias, dysphagia, or photosensitivity. She had no history of similar lesions in the past and was taking no medications.

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