Lasers to treat pigmentation: All operate according to the Q-switched mode (pulse of very short duration):

  • -alexandrite laser
  • -ruby laser
  • -NdYAG laser


Before using lasers, other treatments are to be tried:

  • -topical (creams, depigmentation cream).
  • -surface ablation (chemical peels)
  • -lasers


Does it work?

  • -lentigines: Laser pigment work better than IPL (intense pulsed light or flash lamp)
  • -freckles (ephelides): respond to pigmented laser and IPL (3 sessions), Chemical Peels do not work
  • -PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation): Neither IPL nor laser pigment work
  • -Nevus of Hori:  IPL does not work but the pigment laser may have interesting results
  • -SK (seborrheic keratoses): responds to laser but other cheaper and effective methods are available
  • -Melasma (Chloasma, Pregnancy Mask): Works partially with IPL but does not respond at all to pigment laser
  • -Nevus of Ota: responds to pigment laser but not IPL.


The risks of laser treatment:

  • -especially for darker skin types (IV-VI)
  • -Hypopigmentation Post-inflammaoire
  • -Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation-


It is especially important to know that we treat. The presenter showed the example of a lichen planus pigmentosus not responding to treatment due to misdiagnosis (of chloasma (melasma) (pregnancy mask))


Source of information: 2012 (02) – 20th Regional Conference of Dermatology (RCD) – Manila, Philippines