Fractional laser treatment with the 1,550nm erbium fiber laser (Fraxel® Laser, Reliant Technologies) has bridged the gap between the ablative and nonablative laser modalities used to treat the epidermal and dermal signs of skin aging.
Hyperpigmentation disorders of the skin are common and can be the source of significant psychosocial distress for patients. Topical applications are the mainstay of treatment and include phenols, retinoids, corticosteroids, and their combinations.
The development of selective photothermolysis has enabled removal of targets such as melanin. Both lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) sources have been used in the treatment of pigmented lesions, however careful selection is important to ensure success.
Lasers and intense pulsed light sources are frequently used for the treatment of pigmented lesions, and the appropriate selection of devices for different lesions is vital to achieving satisfactory clinical outcomes. In the removal of melanocytic nevi, a combined approach with a long-pulse pigmented laser and a Q-switched laser is particularly applicable.
Disorders of hyperpigmentation are difficult to treat, particularly in dark-skinned individuals. The goal is to reduce the hyperpigmentation without causing undesirable hypopigmentation or irritation in the surrounding normally pigmented skin. The psychosocial impact caused by these disorders must be considered.