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1,927-nm laser unveils improvements for melasma patients


EXPERT ANALYSIS FROM CONTROVERSIES AND CONVERSATIONS IN LASER AND COSMETIC SURGERY


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DANA POINT, CALIF. – Patients with melasma who underwent treatment with a new low-energy and low-density nonablative fractional 1,927-nm diode laser experienced significant reduction of hyperpigmentation with limited side effects, a single-center study demonstrated.

At a meeting sponsored by SkinCare Physicians and Northwestern University, Dr. Roy G. Geronemus discussed his experience treating patients with the FDA-cleared technology, which is known as the Clear + Brilliant Permea.

Dr. Geronemus of the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of New York noted that existing laser treatments have so far failed to yield a consistent and long-term reduction in pigmentation, especially in patients with darker skin types. "Many current [laser] treatments for melasma make the condition worse," he said "What we ideally need is something that will be helpful, will not make it worse, and that can be repeated, because [melasma] probably will recur over time."

In an ongoing prospective study, Dr. Geronemus and his associates evaluated the 1,927-nm diode laser in melasma patients with a hunch that it would improve pigmentation and appearance with an improved safety profile and overall treatment outcomes. They enrolled patients aged 18-65 years with Fitzpatrick skin types I-VI who had clinical evidence of melasma or postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. They excluded patients who were either pregnant, breast-feeding, contemplating pregnancy, or not using effective means of birth control, as well as those known to be hypersensitive to light exposure and those with a history of melanoma or nonmelanoma skin cancer, keloidal scarring, immunosuppression, or immune deficiency disorder. Images were taken at baseline, prior to each treatment, and at follow-up using the Canfield VISIA complexion analysis system.

Up to six treatments were performed every 2 weeks, Dr. Geronemus said, with spot sizes of 100-180 mcm, energy of 5 mJ, 5-7.5% treatment coverage, and an average of 4-12 passes.

The researchers asked patients to rate their pain after each treatment, as well as their overall improvement in pigmentation. Pain was assessed on an 11-point scale, with 0 being none and 10 being "intolerable." Pigmentation improvement was measured on a 5-point scale, with 0 being none, 1 being mild (1-25%), 2 being moderate (26-50%), 3 being marked (51-75%), and 4 being very significant (76-100%). At the final 3-month visit, patients were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with the treatment on a 5-point scale ranging from very dissatisfied (1) to very satisfied (5).

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