Lasers in Pigmentary Skin Disorders

  • Melissa A. Levoska
  • Tasneem F. Mohammad
  • Iltefat H. Hamzavi
Part of the Updates in Clinical Dermatology book series (UCD)


Laser therapy can treat disorders of both hyper- and hypopigmentation, including vitiligo, lentigines, and melasma. When choosing the appropriate laser for treatment, wavelength, spot size, pulse duration, and fluence must be carefully considered. We will discuss several different lasers: the xenon chloride excimer laser (EL), the fractional carbon dioxide laser (FCO2), the quality-switched ruby laser (QSRL), the Q-switched alexandrite laser (QSAL), and the Q-switched neodymium yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser (QS Nd:YAG). Additionally, we will review and summarize the results of combination trials involving laser therapy for pigmentary disorders. While nevi of Ota and lentigines respond well to laser therapy, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma are often resistant to therapy, and combination regimens with topical therapies may be the most effective. The utilization of lasers in medicine and dermatology will continue to evolve with improvements in laser technology.


Lasers Excimer Q-switched lasers Fractional lasers Vitiligo Lentigines Melasma Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation Nevus of Ota 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa A. Levoska
    • 1
  • Tasneem F. Mohammad
    • 1
  • Iltefat H. Hamzavi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Henry Ford HospitalDetroitUSA

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