A quantitative analysis of CO2 laser versus microneedling for the treatment of paediatric burn scars

Dr Daniel Ricciardello1, Dr  Monique  Bertinetti1

1Children’s Hospital At Westmead, , Australia


Hypertrophic scarring in paediatric burns is common, with incidence reported to be over 20% in burn injured children under the age of 5. These scars significantly impact quality of life and psychosocial functioning in children and adolescents.

Current methods of treatment include both non-invasive and invasive treatments. At the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, standard scar management includes non-invasive treatments such as pressure garments, silicon dressings and splinting. However, quiescent hypertrophic burn scars may be considered for further treatment with CO2 laser or microneedling.

Evidence to support the use of invasive treatment for hypertrophic burn scars are limited to subjective scar assessment tools. However, with the development of new technology, there has been an increase in interest in objective assessment of burn scars.

A retrospective review of all children who attended the Scar clinic at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead between September 2018 and May 2021 and underwent at least one cylce of either CO2 laser or microneedling for treatment of their burn scars was conducted. Objective scar assessment tools including the cutometer, mexameter and ultrasound were ultilised to assess colour, elasticity and thickness of the scars pre- and post-treatment.

This study may improve clinical care by providing evidence to support the use of either CO2 laser or microneedling in the treatment of hypertrophic burn scars in children. Improved scar outcomes may positively impact physical and psychological outcomes for paediatric patients.



Former Burns Fellow at the Children’s Hospital Westmead.

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