How effective is bleomycin for treatment of keloids and hypertrophic scars?

Updated: May 29, 2020
  • Author: Brian Berman, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Bodokh and Brun reported complete flattening in 69.4% of 36 patients with keloids and hypertrophic scars. [32] Saray et al obtained complete flattening in 73.3%, highly significant flattening in 6.7%, and moderate flattening in 6.7% of lesions after the administration of jet intralesional injections of bleomycin in 15 patients. [33]

In the only randomized clinical trial using the tattooing technique, with which smaller amounts of the drug are absorbed, thus minimizing systemic adverse effects, Naeini et al reported significantly better results with intralesional bleomycin compared with the control group (ie, combination of cryotherapy and TAC) in lesions larger than 100 mm2 (P = .03). [34] Local complications, such as hyperpigmentation, were observed in 75% of the patients.

Fifty patients with keloids and hypertrophic scars were treated with intralesional bleomycin. Three applications were given at 15-day intervals, and a fourth and final application was given 2 months after the third application. Complete flattening was observed in 44%, significant flattening in 22%, adequate flattening in 14%, and no flattening in 20%. Pruritus was relieved completely in 89% of patients. [35]

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