Q-Switched Alexandrite Laser-Assisted Treatment of Melasma: 2-Year Follow-up Monitoring

November 2005 | Volume 4 | Issue 6 | Case Reports | 770 | Copyright © November 2005

Antonio Rusciani MD, Angela Motta MD, Luigi Rusciani MD, Carmine Alfano MD

Melasma is a common disorder of hyperpigmentation involving sun exposed face and neck areas. Three clinical patterns of melasma are recognized: the centrofacial, the malar, and the mandibular ones. Several factors have been implicated in the pathogenesis of this disorder including pregnancy, oral contraceptive therapy, sun exposure, genetic factors, cosmetics, and race.1 This condition is most frequently observed in women and affects all racial groups; however, it is commonly found in darker-complexioned individuals (skin types IV through VI) and in Asian women who live and work under strong sunlight exposure for long periods. Melasma is very difficult to treat and often resistant to therapy. Treatment of melasma includes various hypopigmenting agents, chemical peeling, and laser surgery with unsatisfactory results. We report 3 cases of facial melasma successfully treated with a Q-switched Alexandrite laser.