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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-21

The role of laser and intense pulsed light in the treatment of hyperpigmentation disorders

1 Department of Dermatology and Andrology & STDs, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
2 Department of Dermatology and Andrology & STDs, Al Mahmoudia Central Hospital, Al Mahmoudia, Behira, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Eman S Abd Alsalam Tabana
MBBCh, Al Mahmoudia Central Hospital, Alkwady, Al Mahmoudia, 22511 Behira
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.178939

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Objective This article reviews the treatment of hyperpigmentation disorders with laser and intense pulsed light (IPL). Data sources Previous literatures, reviews, and studies as well as medical websites (PubMed, MD consult, Medscape) and scientific journals databases were searched from the start date of each database. Study selection Selection was done by supervisors for studying new advancements in treating hyperpigmented lesions with laser and IPL devices. Data extraction In this review data from published studies were manually extracted and summarized. Study quality assessment included determining whether ethical approval was obtained, prospective design, eligibility criteria specified, appropriate controls used, adequate follow-up and defined outcome measures achieved. Data synthesis In this review several studies of the role of laser and IPL in treating hyperpigmented lesions were included. There are different laser and IPL devices for treating hyperpigmented lesions with different indications. We got our data from studying the different types of laser and IPL approaches to know which one is preferred taking into consideration different complications of the approaches. Findings A total of 44 studies were included in the review as they were deemed eligible by fulfilling the inclusion criteria. Of these 44 articles, included in this review, 32 were laser studies and 12 were IPL studies. Studies indicate that laser and IPL therapy can be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of hyperpigmented skin lesions using the basic principles of selective photothermolysis. A full understanding of laser and IPL principles and the characteristics of the lesion to be treated is essential for the effective and safe use of light-based therapies. Conclusion Progress in laser and IPL technology has involved the development of safer and more efficient methods of achieving the desired effects on hyperpigmented skin lesions. The Q-switched lasers with their high peak power and pulse width in the nanosecond range are best suited to treat various epidermal, dermal, and mixed lesions. Long-pulsed ruby and alexandrite lasers have been shown to be effective in the treatment of Q-switched ruby laser-resistant congenital nevi and other pigmented lesions. Nonablative fractional photothermolysis holds great promise in treatment of both pigmentary variation as well as skin textural abnormalities. Intense pulsed technology is a highly versatile, safe, and effective modality for the treatment of pigmented lesions.

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