Er: YAG laser resurfacing for inoperable medium-sized facial congenital melanocytic naevi in children

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Congenital melanocytic naevi (CMN) can cause significant psychosocial morbidity, especially if they are in visually exposed areas. The preferred treatment is surgical excision, though not all lesions are amenable to this because anatomical location may preclude aesthetic and functional reconstruction. Three children with inoperable facial CMN were treated with Er:YAG resurfacing under general anaesthetic. Two children were Fitzpatrick skin type II, and one child was skin type VI. Treatment was performed at 4–9-monthly intervals. The procedure achieved significant lightening and thinning in all three cases, without scarring or dyspigmentation. One child developed herpes simplex infection in the treated area on one occasion, which was managed with oral aciclovir, and did not lead to scarring or preclude further treatment. We conclude that Er:YAG laser resurfacing is effective for CMN, even in darker skin types. The incidence of side-effects is low, although repeated treatment is necessary.

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