Keratosis pilaris rubra and keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei treated with pulsed dye laser: report of 10 cases

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Jun;25(6):710-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03772.x. Epub 2010 Jun 21.


Background: Keratosis pilaris rubra (KPR) and keratosis pilaris atrophicans faciei (KPAF) are both keratinization disorders characterized by erythema and keratotic follicular papules usually located on cheeks, forehead, chin and eyebrows. Topical keratolytics, vitamin D3 analogues, antibiotics, topical and oral retinoids have been used with limited results. As this condition can be socially very limiting, the need for an effective treatment has led to the use of other technologies such as pulsed dye laser (PDL) or intense pulsed light.

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of PDL in patients with KPR or KPAF.

Methods: Ten patients with KPR or KPAF were treated with two to seven sessions of PDL at 595-nm wavelength. Laser therapy was performed using a spot size of 7 or 10mm, a pulse duration of 0.5 or 1.5ms and a fluence from 5 to 9J/cm(2) . Two dermatologists evaluated treatment effectiveness by means of photographs of the patients before starting and after finishing the therapy.

Results: Complete resolution of erythema was achieved in three patients; clearance of erythema was >75% in the other seven patients. Transient purpura was present in all patients for about 2weeks and one patient presented postinflammatory hyperpigmentation for 7months.

Conclusion: We consider that PDL is a good option for the treatment of KPR and KPAF. A marked reduction in erythema is achieved in all patients with a low incidence of side effects.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / surgery*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Darier Disease
  • Erythema / surgery*
  • Eyebrows / abnormalities
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratosis / surgery*
  • Lasers, Dye / adverse effects
  • Lasers, Dye / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Purpura / etiology
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Burnett Schwartz Berberian syndrome