Korean J Dermatol.  2021 Dec;59(10):785-792.

Port-Wine Stains Confined to a Single Cosmetic Unit than on Multiple Cosmetic Units Respond Better to Pulsed Dye Laser Treatment: A Retrospective Study

  • 1Department of Dermatology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Cosmetic units are designated based on their similarity in topographic anatomy, texture and color, solar exposure, hair density, and sebaceous features. The difference of such features in facial port-wine stain (PWS) cases can affect the response to pulsed dye laser (PDL) treatment.
To evaluate the response of facial PWS to PDL treatment based on the underlying cosmetic units.
A retrospective study was conducted on 18 patients with facial PWS who received PDL treatment. For clinical assessment, three dermatologists evaluated the photographs taken before each treatment session. The response grade was assigned according to the quartile grading scale. The lesion was classified based on the underlying cosmetic units.
The cheek was the most (50%) commonly involved area. All PWS (6/6) confined to one cosmetic unit showed a marked improvement compared with 16% PWS (2/12) affecting two or more units (p<0.05). Patients with PWS within one cosmetic unit required fewer treatment sessions to achieve marked improvement.
PWS confined to a single cosmetic unit than that located in two or more units responded better to PDL treatment. Before PDL treatment for facial PWS, age, initial lesion size, as well as the number of cosmetic units affected by the lesion should be considered.


Cosmetic unit; Dye lasers; Laser therapy; Port-wine stain
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