Background: The neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (NdYAG) laser therapy has been a popular technique for facial rejuvenation but certain adverse effects like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are issues of concern to Asian patients.
Aims: To assess the outcome following combined treatment with vitamin C sonophoresis and NdYAG laser, in selected cases of facial hyperpigmentation.
Methods: Twenty three women with dyschromia or melasma who had undergone five sessions of Q-switched NdYAG laser therapy followed by transdermal delivery of vitamin C via sonophoresis were selected after a retrospective review of case records. The objective and subjective clinical outcomes and the side effects, including erythema, scaling, pruritus, dryness and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation were evaluated.
Results: In both objective or subjective outcomes, 91.3% (21/23) of the patients showed an excellent or better outcome, while 8.7% (2/23) showed no change. A majority of the patients (73.9%, 17/23) experienced no post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or had slight post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which quickly resolved within 1 week. Only one (4.3%) patient had extreme post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which lasted for over a month.
Limitations: This was a retrospective study without a control group; a comparative study with a control group (patients treated with the laser alone, without vitamin C sonopheresis) is needed to determine the difference in the outcome.
Conclusion: The use of vitamin C sonophoresis along with NdYAG laser may reduce the incidence of adverse effects in Asian patients. Patients experienced obvious improvement in hyperpigmentation and had lower chances of experiencing extreme or severe post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.