Study: Laser Plus Topical Steroids May Improve VLS Symptoms

October 18, 2021

The addition of fractional CO2 laser led to improvement in predominant clinical signs and architectural changes in VLS recalcitrant to topical corticosteroid treatment.

Adding fractional CO2 laser treatments to topical steroids may maximize treatment outcomes in refractory vulvar lichen sclerosus (VLS), according to a new study in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

“VLS is a relatively common condition that, unfortunately, is often under-recognized and under-treated by medical providers,” says study author Kristen Stewart, MD, a dermatologist in Jacksonville, Florida, in a news release. “VLS can have devastating effects on a woman’s quality of life.” 

First-line topical corticosteroid as monotherapy is frequently not adequate to fully suppress disease activity and control symptoms. This study evaluated the efficacy of fractional CO2 laser treatments as adjunctive therapy where recalcitrant VLS had been improved, but not adequately controlled with topical corticosteroid treatment. 

The addition of fractional CO2 laser led to improvement in predominant clinical signs and architectural changes in VLS recalcitrant to topical corticosteroid treatment, the study showed. Adjunctive laser treatment also relieved symptoms and improved quality of life as well as sexual function. 

“Fractional CO2 laser treatment may provide an advanced treatment modality for the management of recalcitrant VLS with improved patient care and sustainable outcomes,”  the researchers concluded.

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