This article systematically reviews the use of laser therapy in burn scar management. A search of the literature revealed 51 relevant studies that were referenced in this review. It starts with a nice introduction outlining the effects of burns scars that often warrant treatment including pigmentation, erythema, irregular texture, hypertrophic scarring, pruritis and contractures. Common treatment modalities are briefly discussed. The mechanism of action of fractional lasers are outlined and specific studies using ablative and non-ablative lasers are discussed. The authors find that using ablative lasers on hypertrophic scars is more effective than non-ablative lasers and require fewer treatment sessions. However, non-ablative lasers have been shown to improve overall scar appearance and texture in normotrophic and atrophic burns scars. Intense pulsed light is useful for dyschromia in burn scars and pulsed dye lasers for erythema. The authors conclude that the use of laser therapy should be included in the multimodal approach to burn scar treatment.

Laser in the management of burn scars.
Willows B, Ilyas M, Sharma A.
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Jill Baker

St John’s Hospital, Livingston, UK.

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