Hyperpigmentary disorders, especially melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), cause significant social and emotional stress to the patients. Although many treatment modalities have been developed for melasma and PIH, its management still remains a challenge due to its recurrent and refractory nature. With the advent of laser technology, the treatment options have increased especially for dermal or mixed melasma. To review the literature on the use of cutaneous lasers for melasma and PIH. We carried out a PubMed search using following terms "lasers, IPL, melasma, PIH". We cited the use of various lasers to treat melasma and PIH, including Q-switched Nd:YAG, Q-switched alexandrite, pulsed dye laser, and various fractional lasers. We describe the efficacy and safety of these lasers for the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Choosing the appropriate laser and the correct settings is vital in the treatment of melasma. The use of latter should be restricted to cases unresponsive to topical therapy or chemical peels. Appropriate maintenance therapy should be selected to avoid relapse of melasma.
Keywords: Fractional; hyperpigmentation; lasers; melasma.