Background: Melasma is a common acquired facial pigmentary disorder that is resistant to various modalities of treatment. Recently, the low-fluence 1064-nm Q-switched neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser (QSNY) has emerged as the new gold standard of melasma treatment in Asia. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of low-fluence 1064-nm QSNY in Asian patients with melasma. Methods: Data of patients with melasma treated with low-fluence QSNY in the department of dermatology at the Korea University Anam Hospital were reviewed retrospectively. A 1064-nm QSNY with 8 mm spot size and fluence of 1.2-2.0 J/cm2 at 10 Hz was used. The results were evaluated using the modified Melasma Area and Severity Index (mMASI) score and the physician's global assessment (PGA). Results: A total of 40 Korean patients with Fitzpatrick skin type III to IV were included. Patients were treated for a median of 10 sessions at a median of 1-week intervals. The mean mMASI score decreased by 54.23% from a baseline of 3.19 ± 2.64 to 1.46 ± 1.06 after treatment. On PGA, 1 out of 40 patients (2.5%) showed excellent improvement, 14 (35%) good, 15 (37.5%) fair, 6 (15%) poor, and 4 (10%) no improvement. However, two patients showed mottled hypopigmentation and rebound hyperpigmentation. Conclusion: Low-fluence 1064-nm QSNY appears to be a safe and effective treatment for Asian patients with melasma.
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