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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 160-165

Laser treatment of infantile hemangiomas

Department of Dermatology, Changi General Hospital, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Michelle Si Ying Ng
Blk 43 Sims Drive, #04-209, S'380043
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpd.IJPD_108_16

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Infantile hemangiomas (IHs) are the most common benign soft tissue tumor of infancy and childhood. Many patients seek early treatment to halt progression of tumor growth and accelerate regression to achieve quick resolution with good cosmetic outcomes. We reviewed literature through PubMed search on the treatment strategies for IH and share our experience in the field of laser treatment of IH. Treatment strategies for IH include both pharmacological, laser, and surgical interventions depending on the stage and severity of the lesion. Various laser beams have been attempted with varying effects and effectiveness. The 595-nm pulsed dye laser therapy has been most widely utilized owing to its great efficacy but minimal adverse effects. It works by targeting oxyhemoglobin chromophore in blood vessels located within the dermis, causing photothermal damage of these target vessels stimulating quick involution without damaging surrounding healthy skin. It is especially useful in treating ulcerated superficial facial hemangiomas that necessitate rapid healing to avoid unsightly scarring. It has a good safety profile but small risk of epidermal burn, blistering, postinflammatory pigment changes, and scarring remains in those with darker skin types treated with higher fluences and short-pulsed duration. Combination treatment with 1064 nm neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser, oral propranolol, and even corticosteroids remains an option, especially in treatment of deep, large, and functionally threatening IH. Careful consideration in consultation with the child's parents given the complexities and potential complications surrounding treatment should always be considered. Laser treatment remains an appropriate treatment for rapidly growing IH in exposed locations at early presentation.

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