Treatment of cutaneous larva migrans with a single session of carbon dioxide laser: a study of ten cases in the Philippines

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017 Mar;16(1):91-94. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12296. Epub 2016 Nov 29.


Background: Cutaneous larva migrans (CLM) has a detrimental effect on patients' emotional and physical quality of life. Due to local unavailability of gold standard oral treatments for CLM, carbon dioxide laser was attempted. We present a case series where a single session of carbon dioxide laser treatment was associated with cessation of signs and symptoms of CLM.

Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a single session of carbon dioxide laser in the treatment of CLM.

Materials and methods: Ten cases (eight patients) with CLM were treated with one session of carbon dioxide laser treatment and followed up daily for the first week with photographic documentation and then weekly for the next 3 weeks to complete a 4 week follow-up period.

Results: The first cases in our series, who received one to two passes of fractional CO2 laser, experienced further larval migration for 2-3 days, after which no more progression was noted. For the next seven cases, we increased the number of CO2 laser passes to 3-4, and noted no further larval migration. At the end of the 4-week follow-up period, all CO2 laser-treated areas were completely healed, leaving postinflammatory hyperpigmentation of the serpiginous track.

Conclusion: The results of this case series indicate the efficacy of a single session of CO2 laser in treating CLM. Further studies are required to identify the minimum number of passes required to effectively control CLM.

Keywords: Asian patients; CO2 laser; Laser treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Larva Migrans / surgery*
  • Lasers, Gas / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Philippines
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult