Treatment Options for Congenital Birthmarks Explored in Study

lsm-birthmarks

Combination surgical excision/laser treatment shows better clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction, according to a study published recently in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc (ASLMS).

Congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN) are nevi (birthmarks) that present at birth or arise within the first few weeks of life. For small to medium sized CMN, the current treatment of choice is staged surgical excision. Ablative lasers or pigment-specific lasers have also been recommended for lesions difficult for surgical removal or to avoid surgery.

In this study, researchers led by Jung Min Lim, MD, retrospectively analyzed the results of several treatment options for CMN to determine the optimal treatment method, according to a media release from ASLMS.

A total of 119 cases with small to medium sized CMN were retrospectively reviewed. Treatment options were categorized into four groups: (i) Excision only; (ii) Excision followed by scar laser; (iii) Excision followed by pigment specific laser; and (iv) Laser only.

For the treatment of small to medium sized CMN, treatment strategies including surgical methods are cosmetically superior to laser-only treatment. Also, the combination of surgical excision with scar laser has the potential for better clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction, per the release..

“This large-scale retrospective review about treatment options for small to medium congenital melanocytic nevi may give reassurance to clinicians seeking the best option for their patient, as large-scale assessments have never been made in this field,” says Lim, from the Department of Dermatology, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Cutaneous Biology Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

“It strongly supports the efficacy of surgical excision, which showed better cosmetic outcomes, while suggesting the need for improvement in laser-based treatment strategies. This review also promises the potential of combining scar lasers with surgical excision, which showed superior outcomes along with increased patient satisfaction.

“As various tools for treatment are constantly being developed, the comparison of different treatment strategies in a large scale will benefit the clinician in their daily practice,” Lim concludes, in the release.

[Source: American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery Inc]