Treatment of lupus erythematosus with pulsed dye laser



Background and Objectives

The treatment of cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) with dye and argon laser has been evaluated in a number of articles in recent years. The improvement of telangiectasias and chronic erythema of the cutaneous lesions was based on the selective photothermolysis ablation of the dilated capillaries and venules.

Study Design/Materials and Methods

We describe the results of the treatment of cutaneous lesions of 14 patients; eight with discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) and six with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Three patients received a treatment with flashlamp pulsed dye laser (FPDL) (585 nm, 450 microseconds) with fluences in the range from 5 to 7.75 J/cm2; the other 11 patients were treated with long pulsed dye laser (LPDL) (595 nm, 1.5–10 milliseconds) with fluences in the range from 6 to 13 J/cm2 depending on the pulse duration.


During a median follow-up of 10 months, we observed an average improvement in over 60% of the lesions. A few side effects were observed in all patients: four had transient hyperpigmentation and one patient had light scarring. Three patients had a relapse after more than 1 year; they were then offered conventional treatment.


We confirm that pulsed dye laser is a good alternative treatment for the erythema in active cutaneous lesions of lupus erythematosus (LE). Lasers Surg. Med. 32:327–330, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.