Author(s): Angsuwarangsee S, Polnikorn N
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Abstract BACKGROUND: : Melasma is common and can cause major psychological impact. To date, the mainstay of treatment, including various hypopigmenting agents and chemical peels, is ineffective and can cause adverse effects. Laser is a new approach and is yet to be explored for its efficacy and safety. OBJECTIVE: : To compare combined Ultrapulse CO2 laser and Q-switched alexandrite laser (QSAL) with QSAL alone in the treatment of refractory melasma. METHODS: : Six Thai females were treated with combined Ultrapulse CO2 laser and QSAL on one side of the face and QSAL alone on the other side. The outcome was evaluated periodically for up to 6 months using the modified Melasma Area and Severity Index score and the modified Melasma Area and Melanin Index score. RESULTS: : The side with combination treatment had a statistically significant reduction of both scores. On the QSAL side, the score reduction was not significant. Two cases developed severe postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and were effectively treated with bleaching agents. Transient hypopigmentation and contact dermatitis were observed with the combination treatment side. CONCLUSIONS: : Combined Ultrapulse CO2 laser and QSAL showed a better result than QSAL alone but was associated with more frequent adverse effects. Long-term follow-up and a larger number of cases are required to determine its efficacy and safety for refractory melasma.
This article was published in Dermatol Surg
and referenced in Journal of Pigmentary Disorders