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Localized UVB Treatment Can Trigger Repigmentation of Scars

ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Localized UVB treatment of scars and striae can induce significant repigmentation, Dr. Macrene R. Alexiades-Armenakas said at the annual meeting of the Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.

In a trial of 25 patients treated with a UVB-emitting device, there was a mean degree of repigmentation of approximately 70% at the end of 14 treatments, said Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas, who is in private practice in New York City. The treatments were performed twice a week for 7 weeks. Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas and an independent observer judged the degree of repigmentation achieved relative to matched sites in similar or surrounding areas.

The device used was the Relume system from Lumenis Ltd., a mercury vapor arc lamp delivering light in the 280- to 320-nm wavelength range. The patients were treated with energy of 0.7 times their predetermined, minimal erythematous dosage initially, with the dosage ramped up slightly on subsequent treatments if erythema was not achieved. The types of sites treated included lifting procedure scars on the face, acne scars on the chest, and striae atrophicae on the hip.

The newly established pigment did not last long, however, Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas said. Repigmentation was greatest at the end of the 14 treatments and gradually diminished over a 6-month follow-up.

The major side effect that was reported was hyperpigmentation around the area treated, but that can be prevented with the use of a blocking template, she said.

Skin and Allergy News , July 2003, vol 34, nr.7

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