Background: The treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis has long been a challenge. The application of heat to the lesions has been described in some studies, with no consensus regarding the types of thermotherapy and their practical implications.We sought to evaluate the efficacy of infrared thermotherapy in the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis.
Methods: We evaluated the results of infrared thermotherapy in 35 cutaneous leishmaniasis patients (53 lesions) who attended the leishmaniasis clinic of Imam Reza Hospital, Mashhad, Iran. Three times a week, the lesions were warmed to 45 degrees centigrade for two cycles of 10 minutes. Treatment outcomes were classified as complete (90-100%), good (50-89%), and poor responses (less than 50% size reduction).
Results: Thirteen (24.5%) lesions were cured after three months; 31 (58.5%) and 9 (17%) lesions showed good and poor responses, respectively. Treatment outcomes were significantly related to the number of treatment sessions (P ≤ 0.05). No significant side effects were seen.
Conclusion: Infrared thermotherapy is a relatively effective and well-tolerated treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis.