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Efficacy and Safety of Short-Pulse Erbium:YAG Laser in the Treatment of Acquired Melanocytic Nevi


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Mete Baba, Başkent University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, Adana Hospital, 01250 Adana, Turkey, or e-mail:


BACKGROUND Various laser systems have been used in the treatment of acquired melanocytic nevi. However, CO2 lasers may cause scarring, and some nevi cannot be removed with pigment-specific lasers completely. To date, no study has evaluated the efficacy and safety of an erbium:YAG laser with its small penetration depth and fewer adverse effects in the treatment of acquired melanocytic nevi.

OBJECTIVE To investigate the efficacy and safety of short-pulse erbium:YAG laser in the treatment of acquired melanocytic nevi.

METHODS The study included 28 nevi in 14 patients. The lesions were pigmented, flat, or just palpable nevi. Nevi were irradiated with a single pulse laser energy of 1,000 mJ and pulse duration of 300 μs. Fluencies between 5.2 and 14.4 J/cm2 were used. Four months following laser treatment, the entire lesion was excised. Each specimen was histopathologically and immunohistochemically examined for the presence of nevus cells.

RESULTS Clinically all of the nevi and histopathologically 27 of 28 nevi (96%) were completely removed without scarring. In two patients, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation and in three patients, hypopigmentation were seen.

CONCLUSIONS Short-pulse erbium:YAG laser treatment is an effective and safe method for removing acquired melanocytic nevi.

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