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October 2018

Laser Treatment Performed More Than 4 Decades After Napalm Burns: Healing the Scars of the “Napalm Girl”

Author Affiliations
  • 1Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute, Miami, Florida
  • 2The Kim Foundation International, Ajax, Ontario, Canada
  • 3Private Practice, Pembroke Pines, Florida
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(10):1228-1229. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.2774

On June 8, 1972, a 9-year-old Vietnamese girl, then named Kim Phuc, now a coauthor of this article (K.P.P.T.), was severely burned during a napalm attack carried out by South Vietnamese airplanes during the Vietnam War. A dramatic photograph of this incident captured the heart of the world. It shows Kim Phuc running naked along Route 1, Trang Bang, Vietnam, her clothes having been incinerated by the napalm bomb, and screaming in pain.

That tragic moment changed Kim Phuc’s life forever, as she became known as the “Napalm Girl.” Over the years, she endured great suffering from her burn scars, but she triumphed through faith in God, tremendous inner strength, and by helping others. This is a medical account of her burn scar treatment that began in 2015.

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