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The treatment of keloids with pneumatic technology: a pilot study


Beom Joon Kim, MD, PhD
Department of Dermatology Chung-Ang University Hospital, 224-1 Heukseok-dong, Dongjak-gu Seoul 156-755 South Korea


Background  Keloid scars derive from abnormal fibrous wound healing when the mechanisms controlling tissue repair and regeneration malfunction. Previous studies have reported a reduction in hyaluronic acid among fibroblasts cultured from keloid tissue compared with the levels in normal skin. Here, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of subdermal minimal surgery using hyaluronic acid as a novel treatment in keloid scars.

Objective  To evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of subdermal minimal surgery technology in the treatment of keloids.

Materials and methods  Ten Korean patients (Fitzpatrick skin type II–IV) with keloids on the upper arms were enrolled in this study. All patients underwent three sessions of subdermal minimal surgery at three-week intervals. Scar assessments were performed at baseline, before each treatment session, and three months after the final treatment, with three different assessment methods. Specifically, in addition to the Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS), two independent physicians performed global assessment evaluations regarding the final cosmetic results. As a final form of assessment, participant satisfaction was assessed using a four-point scale.

Results  All volunteers completed three treatment sessions, and nine of 10 patients were satisfied with the procedure. The average VSS score decreased three months after the final treatment, and global assessment showed clinical improvement of the scars. No adverse events occurred, except transient spot bleeding at entry points and slight post-procedure edema, which resolved within 48 hours.

Conclusion  Subdermal minimal surgery technology may help to improve keloids on the upper arm without noticeable adverse effects.