Cryotherapy in the Treatment of Keloids

July 2006 | Volume 5 | Issue 7 | Original Article | 591 | Copyright © July 2006

L. Rusciani MD, A. Paradisi MD, C. Alfano MD, S. Chiummariello MD, A. Rusciani MD

Background: Despite their benign nature, keloids may constitute a severe aesthetic and, in some cases, functional problem with important repercussions on patients’ quality of life. There is no consensus on keloid treatment and no wholly satisfactory therapy has yet emerged. Objective: To assess the efficacy of cryotherapy in the treatment of keloids. Methods: 135 patients with 166 keloids received cryosurgical treatment between 1990 and 2004. Freeze times and number of sessions varied. Scar volume was measured before and after treatment. Median follow-up was 48.6 months (range 12.4-72.6 months). Results: Of the 166 lesions treated, 79.5% responded very well with a volume reduction of the initial mass of greater than 80% after a median of 3 treatments (range: 1-9). A good result was obtained in 14.5% of lesions, while results were unsatisfactory in 6% of cases. The main adverse effects reported were atrophic depressed scars and residual hypopigmentation (75% of cases). No recurrences arose during the follow-up period (12-72 months). Conclusions: To date, cryotherapy appears to be the most effective, safe, economic, and easy-to-perform monotherapy to treat keloid lesions and hypertrophic scars.