Former research fellow at Goldman, Butterwick, Fitzpatrick, Groff and Fabi Cosmetic Laser Dermatology.
Version of Record online: 19 DEC 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Lasers in Surgery and Medicine
Special Issue: Dermatology and Plastic Surgery
Volume 45, Issue 2, pages 95–101, February 2013
How to Cite
Niwa Massaki, A. B. M., Eimpunth, S., Fabi, S. G., Guiha, I., Groff, W. and Fitzpatrick, R. (2013), Treatment of melasma with the 1,927-nm fractional thulium fiber laser: A retrospective analysis of 20 cases with long-term follow-up. Lasers Surg. Med., 45: 95–101. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22100
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.
Dr. Fitzpatrick received research grant from Solta and he serves as a consultant and owns stock options in Solta.
- Issue online: 25 FEB 2013
- Version of Record online: 19 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 NOV 2012
- fractional laser;
- thulium laser
Melasma is a common acquired symmetrical hyperpigmentation that is often recurrent and refractory.
To investigate the efficacy and safety of a single administration of high-density fractional thulium fiber laser (1,927 nm) for the treatment of refractory melasma in 20 patients.
Materials and Methods
A retrospective chart and photographs review of 20 women (Fitzpatrick skin type II–IV) with clinical diagnosis of melasma treated with the 1,927-nm fractionated thulium laser at 10 or 20 mJ/cm2, with 60–70% surface area coverage. Four investigators independently evaluated Melasma Area Severity Index (MASI) scores before, 4 weeks, 3–6 months, and 6–12 months after treatment.
Mean MASI scores decreased dramatically from 13.2 ± 5.4 before treatment to 8.5 ± 3.5 at 4 weeks after laser treatment (P = 0.004). Patient assessment revealed that 12 of the 20 subjects had more than 50% clearance of their melasma. Recurrence was reported by 7 out of 15 patients who were successfully followed-up (mean 10.2 months). Two patients developed postinflammatory hyperpigmentation that subsided with topical bleaching after 3 months.
High-density coverage fractional 1,927-nm thulium laser proved to be safe and effective for melasma with long-term remission. Lasers Surg. Med. 45: 95–101, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.