Background: Few therapies are currently available to treat keratosis pilaris atrophicans (KPA), a spectrum of disorders which includes ulerythema ophryogenes and atrophoderma vermiculata.
Objective: To evaluate the response of KPA to treatment with the pulsed dye laser (PDL) with regard to improvements in erythema and skin roughness, treatment tolerability, and side effects.
Methods: Treatment of all facial areas involved with KPA with the PDL at 585 nm was evaluated in 12 patients. Prior to and after each treatment skin erythema was estimated using an erythema meter, and skin roughness was analysed using micrometer evaluation of a skin surface biopsy taken from the same mapped area and analysed by computer to calculate the roughness profile.
Results: Patients received 2 to 8 treatments with the PDL with energies ranging from 6.0 to 7.5 J/cm2. Clinical improvement was noted in all patients with significant reduction in erythema scores. Pre-treatment scores ranged from 4 to 13 (mean 8.3) and post-treatment 0 to 8 (mean 3.1) (P < 0.05). Improvements in skin roughness were clinically apparent in all but two patients, but these were not significant on evaluation of skin surface biopsies. Treatment was generally well tolerated, and side effects other than local pain during treatment were very few.
Conclusion: PDL treatment appears to be a safe and effective treatment for the erythema associated with KPA but does not give significant improvement in associated skin roughness.