Prophylactic low-level light therapy for the treatment of hypertrophic scars and keloids: a case series

Lasers Surg Med. 2010 Aug;42(6):597-601. doi: 10.1002/lsm.20952.


Background and objectives: Hypertrophic and keloid scars result from alterations in the wound healing process. Treating abnormal scars remains an important challenge. The aim of this case series was to investigate the effectiveness of near infrared (NIR) light emitting diode (LED) treatment as a prophylactic method to alter the wound healing process in order to avoid or attenuate the formation of hypertrophic scars or keloids.

Study design/patients and methods: Three patients (age 27-57) of phototypes I-III with hypertrophic scars or keloids due to acne or surgery participated in this case series. Following scar revision by surgery or CO(2) laser ablation on bilateral areas, one scar was treated daily by the patient at home with non-thermal, non-ablative NIR LED (805 nm at 30 mW/cm(2)) for 30 days. Efficacy assessments, conducted up to a year post-treatment, included the Vancouver Scar scale (VSS), clinical global assessment of digital photographs, and quantitative profilometry analysis using PRIMOS. Safety was documented by adverse effects monitoring.

Results: Significant improvements on the NIR-treated versus the control scar were seen in all efficacy measures. No significant treatment-related adverse effects were reported.

Conclusion: Possible mechanisms involved are inhibition of TGF-beta I expression. Further studies in larger group of patients are needed to evaluate this promising technique.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cicatrix / surgery
  • Cicatrix, Hypertrophic / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keloid / prevention & control*
  • Laser Therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phototherapy*
  • Rhytidoplasty
  • Self Care
  • Wound Healing