Intense Pulsed Light for Melanocytic Lesions


  • G. A. Moreno Arias, MD and J. Ferrando, MD, PhD have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Juan Ferrando, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatology, Hospital Clinic, C/Villarroel 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain, or e-mail:


Background. Few reports about melanocytic lesion treatment using intense pulsed light have been published.

Objectives. To evaluate the clinical results of diverse melanocytic lesions after treatment with an intense pulsed light source.

Methods. Superficial and deep melanocytic lesions were treated by an intense pulsed light source with the following parameters: filters of 590, 615, and 755 nm, a fluence energy of 34–38 J/cm2, double mode, a pulse width of 3.8–4.5 msec, and a delay of 20 msec, at 4- to 8-week intervals. Two treatment sessions were applied to superficial lesions, while deep ones received four.

Results. A clearance of 76–100% (excellent) was obtained for superficial lesions such as ephelides, epidermal melasma, and café au lait macules. Nevus spilus showed good clinical clearance (51–75%); however, deep lesions such as nevus of Becker, epidermal nevus, and mixed melasma showed an average clearance of less than 25%. Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation was observed in melasma.

Conclusion. Intense pulsed light is an effective treatment for superficial melanocytic lesions; however, those with a deep component improve only if repetitive treatment sessions are applied.