Sunday, September 16, 2012

Laser Treatment for Pigmented Birthmark (Nevus of Ota)

Pigmented birthmarks are darker colored skin spots that are either present at birth or develop shortly after birth. They come in many different colors, including brown, tan or black. Topical products is usually of no value in treatment of pigmented birthmarks while cosmetic camouflage may offer temporary cover-up.

Photo source : dermnetnz
Nevus of Ota is a birthmark where the pigment cells are found deeper underneath the skin (in the dermis layer)

A common type of pigmented birthmark in Asians is Nevus of Ota. It presents as a blue or gray patch, usually on the upper and mid part of the face. Is advisable to seek treatment early in life due to the psychological trauma and cosmetic disfigurement caused by the birthmark.

How does laser birthmark removal works ?

Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers are the mainstay of treatment for Nevus of Ota and are safe for treating darker skin types. The laser energy is selectively absorbed by pigments, resulting in pigment destruction. Pigments that are broken into smaller particles are then eliminated by the body's immune system.

How many birthmark removal treatments are required ?

On average, 6 to 10 sessions are required to clear most lesions, with an interval of 6 to 8 weeks between treatments.

Photo source : NCBI
A study published in Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery 2008 demonstrated the long-term safety and efficacy of laser treatment for Nevus of Ota. Left photo : before treatment, right photo :  after 6 laser treatments.

What are the complications of laser birthmark removal ?

In the hands of an experienced doctor, the risk associated with laser birthmark removal is minimal. Possible side effects include temporary darkening of the treated skin or the treated skin becoming lighter than the normal skin tone. These effects are transient and can be cleared with the use of sunscreens and topical bleaching creams.

4 comments:

  1. i m 20yrs old.i have nevus of ota on my right cheek.in how many sittings of nd yag laser will it fade?

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