Case report: rapidly healing epidermolysis bullosa wound after ablative fractional resurfacing

Pediatrics. 2015 Jan;135(1):e207-10. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-1779. Epub 2014 Dec 22.


Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is a devastating genodermatosis characterized by generalized skin fragility, severe blistering, and wounding that heals with mutilating scarring. Patients are in constant need of effective wound therapies as they often succumb to aggressive metastatic squamous cell carcinomas or to sepsis that may develop from their chronic wounds. Herein, we demonstrate accelerated wound healing with use of a fractionated CO2 laser protocol in a 22-year-old man with RDEB. His 9-month-old, non-healing wound decreased from 7 cm in diameter to 2 cm in diameter (a 92% reduction in wound surface area) within 4 weeks of a single laser treatment, and he had near-complete re-epithelialization within 4 weeks of his second laser treatment without blistering or other adverse effects. This novel intervention of using fractionated CO2 for photo-microdebridement could help revolutionize wound care for patients who have RDEB and whose chronic wounds serve as one of their greatest sources of morbidity and mortality. Dissemination to a pediatric audience is critical so that laser protocols might be more thoroughly investigated and incorporated into wound management strategies for this uniquely vulnerable population.

Keywords: carbon dioxide; chronic wound; fractionated; laser; non-healing; photothermolysis; recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa; scar; ulcer.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Ablation Techniques*
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Dystrophica / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Wound Healing*
  • Young Adult