Title: The removal of cutaneous pigmented lesions with the Q-switched ruby laser and the Q-switched neodymium: yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser. A comparative study.
Author: Tse Y, Levine VJ, McClain SA, Ashinoff R
Journal: J Dermatol Surg Oncol 1994 Dec;20(12):795-800
PMID: 7798410, UI: 95096287
Affiliated institution: Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016.
Comment in: Dermatol Surg 1995 Nov;21(11):990
BACKGROUND. The Q-switched ruby laser (QSRL) (694 nm) has been used successfully in the removal of tattoos and a variety of cutaneous pigmented lesions. The frequency-doubled Q-switched neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser (QSNd:YAG) (1064 and 532 nm) has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of tattoos, however, little has been published regarding the QSNd:YAG laser in the removal of cutaneous pigmented lesions.
OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study is to compare the efficacy and side effect profile of the QSRL and the frequency-doubled QSNd:YAG lasers in the removal of cutaneous pigmented lesions, including lentigines, cafe-au-lait macules, nevus of Ota, nevus spilus, Becker’s nevus, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, and melasma.
METHODS. Twenty patients with pigmented lesions were treated with the QSRL and the frequency-doubled QSNd:YAG lasers. Clinical lightening of the lesion was assessed 1 month after a single treatment. Side effects and patient satisfaction were also evaluated.
RESULTS. A minimum of 30% lightening was achieved in all patients after only one treatment with either the QSRL or the frequency-doubled QSNd:YAG laser. The QSRL seems to provide a slightly better treatment response than the QSNd:YAG laser. Neither laser caused scarring or textural change of the skin. Most patients found the QSRL to be more painful during treatment, but the QSNd:YAG laser caused more postoperative discomfort.
CONCLUSION. Both the QSRL and the frequency-doubled QSND:YAG laser are safe and effective methods of treatment of epidermal and dermal pigmented lesions.