Laser Therapy for the Treatment of Actinic Cheilitis: A Systematic Review.

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Actinic cheilitis (AC) is a chronic inflammation of the lip considered an oral, potentially malignant disorder associated with an increased risk of lip squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) development. Controversies surrounding current therapeutic modalities of AC are under debate, and the implications of laser treatment have not been specifically investigated through a systematic review design. The present study aims to evaluate the degree of evidence of laser for the treatment of AC in terms of efficacy and safety. We searched for primary-level studies published before January 2022 through MEDLINE/PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Scopus and CENTRAL, with no limitation in publication language or date. We evaluated the methodological quality and risk of bias of the studies included using the updated Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing risk of bias (RoB-2). Twenty studies (512 patients) met our eligibility criteria. Laser therapy showed a complete clearance of AC in 92.5% patients, with a maximum recurrence rate of 21.43%, and a very low frequency of malignant transformation to SCC (detected in only 3/20 studies analyzed). In addition, cosmetic outcomes and patient satisfaction were described as excellent. In conclusion, our findings indicate that laser therapy is a high efficacy approach to AC.
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1927-nm thulium laser, Erbium:YAG laser, actinic, actinic cheilitis, carbon dioxide laser, keratosis, laser therapy, lip cancer, non-melanoma skin cancer, oral potentially malignant disorders, systematic review