BACKGROUND: In the dermatology field, variable-pulse 595 nm pulsed dye lasers (PDLs) are now being widely used to treat vascular skin lesions. However, there is little information available on variable-pulse 595 nm PDL treatment of dark-skinned patients. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the outcome of variable-pulse 595 nm PDL treatment on Korean patients. METHOD: Two hundred thirty-nine patients (Fitzpatrick skin phototypes III to V) with vascular skin lesions, such as nevus flammeus, telangiectasia, or hemangioma, were included in this study. All patients were treated with a variable-pulse 595 nm PDL, and the outcomes were assessed by comparing preoperative and postoperative photographs. RESULTS: The average number of treatments per patient was 4.29, and 51.9% of patients showed a good (51-75% clearance) to excellent (76-100% clearance) response. For nevus flammeus, 48.0% of the patients achieved good to excellent results. The gender and age of the patients did not influence the clinical response; however, lesions of the head and neck were found to respond more favorably to treatment. For telangiectasia, 78.0% of patients showed good to excellent results, and, again, the gender and age of the patients did not alter the treatment outcome. For hemangioma, the male to female ratio of patients was 1.0:3.1 and 54.1% of the patients achieved a good to excellent response. Superficial hemangioma showed a better clinical response than deep hemangioma, and the lesions of younger patients responded more favorably than those of older patients. CONCLUSION: The variable-pulse 595 nm PDL was found to be effective for treating several vascular skin lesions in dark-skinned patients. However, there were differences in treatment outcome owing to disease, age, and the location of the lesions.
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