Translucent argon laser treatment of port-wine stain haemangioma: Chilling with bubble-free ice improves the therapeutic result
The argon laser treatment of port-wine stains and other benign lesions rich in small blood vessels is an old but well-established procedure. The formation of small superficial atrophic scars is a common unwanted side-effect and this is due to accompanying thermal effects arising from the treatment. This paper describes a new method of chilling the skin which the authors have called ‘Translucent Argon Laser Treatment’. This is based on the transmission of the argon laser light through specially produced bubble-free ice cubes which couple the light to the skin surface. In this way, the skin can be chilled in a safe and efficient manner before, during and after the application of the laser beam. When compared with the standard procedure without skin chilling, the number of scars formed in 62 patients treated was reduced from 32 to 1. Lesion lightening was not affected by chilling. Treatment is less painful using ice as a coupling medium and was therefore more acceptable to the patients.
Key wordsArgon laser treatment Port-wine stain Haemangioma Side-effects Scars Chilling of skin Bubble-free ice
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