Use of Q-switched ruby laser in the treatment of nevus of Ota indifferent age groups
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Background and Objectives: Nevus of Ota is a form of dermal melanocytic hamartoma that appears as a bluish discoloration in the trigeminal region. Although Q-switched lasers provide effective treatment, the appropriate age at which to start that treatment is not known. Our aim is to compare the clinical efficacy and safety of Q-switched ruby laser (QSRL) in the treatment of nevus of Ota in different age groups. Study Design/Materials and Methods: Our study included 46 children and 107 adults with nevus of Ota, which had been treated with QSRL that achieved excellent (75% or more) to complete response. The laser parameters were 694-nm wavelength, 30 nanoseconds pulse duration, 4-mm spot size, and 5-7 J/cm(2) fluence at 3-4 month intervals. We assessed the mean number of treatment sessions and the degree of complications in the two age groups of patients. Results: The mean number of treatment sessions to achieve significance to complete clearing was 3.5 for the younger age group and 5.9 for the older age group (P=0.0001). The complication rate for the younger age group was 4.8% as compared to 22.4% for the older age group. Conclusions: The use of QSRL for the treatment of nevus of Ota in children can achieve an excellent result in fewer sessions and at a lower complication rate than later treatment. The risk of recurrence is a concern, however, and further long-term study is necessary to address this issue.