[Lasers]

Ann Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Nov;139 Suppl 3:S108-14. doi: 10.1016/S0151-9638(12)70120-5.
[Article in French]

Abstract

Lasers are a very effective approach for treating many hyperpigmented lesions. They are the gold standard treatment for actinic lentigos and dermal hypermelanocytosis, such as Ota nevus. Becker nevus, hyperpigmented mosaicisms, and lentigines can also be successfully treated with lasers, but they could be less effective and relapses can be observed. However, lasers cannot be proposed for all types of hyperpigmentation. Thus, freckles and café-au-lait macules should not be treated as the relapses are nearly constant. Due to its complex pathophysiology, melasma has a special place in hyperpigmented dermatoses. Q-switched lasers (using standard parameters or low fluency) should not be used because of consistent relapses and the high risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Paradoxically, targeting the vascular component of the melasma lesion with lasers could have a beneficial effect. However, these results have yet to be confirmed. In all cases, a precise diagnosis of the type of hyperpigmentation is mandatory before any laser treatment, and the limits and the potential side effects of the treatment must be clearly explained to patients.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cafe-au-Lait Spots / diagnosis
  • Cafe-au-Lait Spots / etiology
  • Cafe-au-Lait Spots / radiotherapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Hyperpigmentation / diagnosis
  • Hyperpigmentation / etiology
  • Hyperpigmentation / radiotherapy*
  • Lasers / adverse effects
  • Low-Level Light Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Melanosis / diagnosis
  • Melanosis / etiology
  • Melanosis / radiotherapy
  • Nevus of Ota / diagnosis
  • Nevus of Ota / etiology
  • Nevus of Ota / radiotherapy
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Photosensitivity Disorders / diagnosis
  • Photosensitivity Disorders / etiology
  • Photosensitivity Disorders / radiotherapy
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / radiotherapy