Treatment of primary cutaneous amyloidosis with laser: a review of the literature

Lasers Med Sci. 2016 Jul;31(5):1027-35. doi: 10.1007/s10103-016-1917-8. Epub 2016 Mar 16.


Primary cutaneous amyloidosis (PCA) is a condition characterized by tissue deposition of misfolded proteins. PCA can present in different forms, namely macular, lichen, and nodular amyloidosis. These lesions can be of cosmetic concern and are difficult to treat. Many therapeutic modalities have been suggested for the treatment of PCA, with variable efficacy, including topical and systemic medications, phototherapy, electrodessication, dermabrasion, cryosurgery, and lasers. Over the past decade, several studies have reported successful treatment of PCA with different types of lasers; however, a review of these studies has never been reported in the dermatologic literature. The aim of this study was to review the efficacy and safety of lasers in the treatment of PCA. A search of the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Database was performed. Studies were considered for inclusion based on their relevance, and specific data were extracted from all included studies. Eleven studies, comprising 64 patients, were included in this review. Significant improvements were observed in macular and lichen amyloidosis patients treated with carbon dioxide laser in two studies, while a number of case series and case reports showed good results with other types of laser in the treatment of PCA. This review was limited by the lack of large double-blinded randomized controlled trials and the overall small sample size. Laser treatment is a promising option in the treatment of PCA. Future randomized controlled trials are needed to compare the efficacy of different types of lasers and to select the best parameters for different types of PCA.

Keywords: Cutaneous amyloidosis; Laser; Lichen amyloidosis; Macular amyloidosis; Nodular amyloidosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amyloidosis, Familial / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Gas / therapeutic use
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Skin Diseases, Genetic / radiotherapy*
  • United States

Supplementary concepts

  • Amyloidosis IX
  • Amyloidosis, Primary Cutaneous