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January 1987

Limitations of Carbon Dioxide Lasers for Treatment of Port-wine Stains

Author Affiliations

From the Biomedical Engineering Program, The University of Texas at Austin (Drs van Gemert and Welch), and the Wellman Laser Laboratory, Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Drs Tan and Parrish). Dr Tan is now with the Department of Dermatology, Boston University School of Medicine.

Arch Dermatol. 1987;123(1):71-73. doi:10.1001/archderm.1987.01660250077022

Port-wine disorders of the skin consisting of ectatic dermal blood vessels.1 Treatment with a continuous wave (CW) argon laser at wavelengths of 488 and 514.5 nm has demonstrated a 70% cure rate, but also about a 10% incidence of hypertrophic scars.2-5 A number of other lasers have also been used to treat PWS, such as a millisecond-pulsed ruby laser at 694 nm,6 a CW dye laser at 540 nm,7 microsecond-pulsed dye lasers at 577 nm,8-11 CW neodymium-YAG lasers at 1060 nm,12 and CW carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers at 10 600 nm.13,14 Histologic results for some of these laser treatments have been published and are summarized in Tables 1 through 5.

The incidence of hypertrophic scarring for argon laser treatment is most likely caused by the destruction of the epidermis and upper dermis to a depth of about 0.6 mm,9 due to