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Dermatol Surg. 2011 Aug;37(8):1133-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2011.02018.x. Epub 2011 May 17.

Efficacy of 694-nm Q-switched ruby fractional laser treatment of melasma in female Korean patients.

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Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.



Melasma is a common acquired symmetrical hypermelanosis of sun-exposed areas of the skin. Although the classical Q-switched ruby laser (QSRL) has been used successfully for the removal of tattoos and for the treatment of cutaneous pigmented lesions, its efficacy for melasma remains controversial.


We used repeat low-dose fractional QSRL treatment for melasma and analyzed the clinical results.


Fifteen Korean women with melasma were enrolled. Each patient received six low-dose fractional QSRL treatments to the face at 2-week intervals. Two investigators independently evaluated Melasma Area and Severity Index (MASI) scores before each session and 4 and 16 weeks after the final session. The intensities of pigmentation and erythema were assessed by measuring skin reflectance using a tristimulus color analyzer.


Mean MASI score decreased from 15.1 ± 3.3 before treatment to 10.6 ± 3.9 16 weeks after the final treatment. The lightness of pigmentation (L-value) increased from 56.6 ± 3.5 before treatment to 59.9 ± 2.8 16 weeks after the final treatment.


Multiple treatment sessions of low-dose fractional QSRL may be an effective strategy for the treatment of dermal or mixed-type melasma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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