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J Drugs Dermatol. 2005 Nov-Dec;4(6):770-4.

Q-switched alexandrite laser-assisted treatment of melasma: 2-year follow-up monitoring.

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Department of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


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. 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.

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