Effective laser treatment options for argyria: Review of literatures

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Aug;19(8):1877-1882. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13549. Epub 2020 Jul 3.


Background: Argyria results from silver accumulation in the skin. It is a stressful condition for patients due to skin discoloration. In the past, no effective treatments were available. However, it has been recently reported laser treatments showed promising results.

Aim: To review and summarize all reported laser treatment options for argyria patients.

Methods: We reviewed all laser treatment options for argyria in the database of the US National Library of Medicine PubMed. The search of the words "argyria and laser" was performed on the March 4, 2020.

Results: We found 11 studies that reported laser treatment for argyria. All of the studies were case reports demonstrating treatment responses of laser devices such as 1064 nm Nd:Yag laser and 755 nm alexandrite laser. Despite various treatment parameters, 1064 nm Nd:Yag and alexandrite lasers showed good responses in argyria. However, severe pain during the laser procedure was the main concern. We summarized laser treatment options for argyria including their parameters, treatment response, and anesthesia for laser treatment in argyria. We also report a case of argyria, which successfully responded to low fluence 1064 nm Nd:Yag laser.

Conclusion: Laser therapies resulted in almost complete clearing of pigment in argyria. Earlier reports showed that 1064 nm Nd:Yag laser successfully treated argyria but recent studies suggested 755 nm alexandrite was also a good treatment option for argyria. Additionally, our case achieved excellent results even in one session of low fluence Q-switched Nd:Yag laser, though we need to ensure pain control during the laser treatment.

Keywords: argyria; laser; pain; silver.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Argyria* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Lasers, Solid-State* / therapeutic use
  • Pigmentation Disorders*
  • Treatment Outcome