Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery
Print this page
Email this page
Small font size
Default font size
Increase font size
Home About us Current issue Archives Instructions Submission Subscribe Editorial Board Partners Contact e-Alerts Login 

   Table of Contents     
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 194-195
Assessment of the response and improving outcomes of nevus of Ota with Q-switched Nd : Yag laser

Skin and Laser Clinic, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication20-Dec-2013

How to cite this article:
Aurangabadkar SJ. Assessment of the response and improving outcomes of nevus of Ota with Q-switched Nd : Yag laser. J Cutan Aesthet Surg 2013;6:194-5

How to cite this URL:
Aurangabadkar SJ. Assessment of the response and improving outcomes of nevus of Ota with Q-switched Nd : Yag laser. J Cutan Aesthet Surg [serial online] 2013 [cited 2022 Aug 17];6:194-5. Available from:

Nevus of Ota, a condition characterised by dermal melanocytosis, responds very well to a Q-switched Nd: YAG laser (QSL). [1] The number of sessions required for complete clearance and the interval between sessions has not been clearly defined. The current literature suggests that multiple sessions are generally necessary (ranging from 6 to 10 or more) and the present data supports that the interval between sessions should be at least two to three months. A recent study has reported that the number of treatments required varies significantly according to the lesional colour and site: Grey lesions and those on the forehead/temple are most resistant. [2]

Treatment is conducted with the handpiece held perpendicular to the surface and a single pass is given, with minimal overlap. Multiple passes should be avoided as they increase the chances of cumulative thermal damage, with increased risk of dyschromias (particularly guttate hypopigmentation/mottled hypopigmentation) and blistering/scarring. [3]

Another concept gaining ground is combining ablative and non-ablative fractional lasers with QSL for the treatment of pigmented lesions and tattoos. [4],[5],[6]

In very dark patients, skin types V and VI, conservative settings are recommended to minimise the adverse effects and it has been shown that QSL treatment in these darker patients yields good results. [7]

The rationale behind the combination therapy is that the micro-thermal zones (MTZ) and micro-ablative zones (MAZ) created by these fractional lasers allow transepidermal clearance of the pigment along with the micro-epidermal necrotic debris (MEND), and also the use of these devices in combination with QSL allows the release of gases that build up during QSL therapy, due to rapid thermal expansion. Creating micro-ablative columns allows these gases to be released, thus reducing the chances of blistering. Evidence is available for the use of this concept in tattoo removal and can be utilised in the management of nevus of Ota. [8]

In the author's experience, this dual combination has improved the rate of clearance without increasing the risk of adverse effects.

Another development is the use of low fluence QSL for the treatment of nevus of Ota, where multiple sessions are performed using low fluencies (2.5 j/cm2 to 5 J/cm2) repeated at two-week intervals. [9]

The response to treatment is usually documented based of digital photography and the physician's global assessment, either by the treating physician or a blinded observer. This works most of the time as serial photography can visualise the change adequately. To achieve satisfactory photos before and after the procedure, the shooting conditions need to be standardised with similar lighting, distance to the patient, and camera settings during each shoot. Measurement of the melanin index with the help of a mexameter is another way of measuring the response and helps in standardisation and may improve the reproducibility of the results. The limitations include availability, cost of the instrument, and variability in accuracy of ± 5%. The site of measurement with the mexameter needs to be marked accurately and reassessment should be from the same points. Skin biopsy is another way of assessing the response, but due to its invasive nature and need for repeat biopsies, it may not be acceptable to the patients.

Laser treatment of nevus of Ota produces predictable results, provided the right technique and correct parameters are used. The risk of hyper- and hypopigmentation is minimal if proper protocol is followed. Newer modalities such as combining lasers and use of low fluences may allow better and faster clearance and minimise the risk of side effects.

   References Top

1.Sethuraman G, Sharma VK, Sreenivas V. Melanin index in assessing the treatment efficacy of 1064 nm Q switched Nd-Yag laser in nevus of Ota. J Cutan Aesth Surg 2013;6:189-93.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Felton SJ, Al-Niaimi F, Ferguson JE, Madan V. Our perspective of the treatment of naevus of Ota with 1,064-, 755- and 532-nm wavelength lasers. Lasers Med Sci 2013[Epub ahead of print].  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Aurangabadkar S. QYAG5 Q-switched Nd: YAG laser treatment of Nevus of Ota: An Indian study of 50 patients. J Cutan Aesthet Surg 2008;1:80-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
4.Moody MN, Landau JM, Vergilis-Kalner IJ, Goldberg LH, Marquez D, Friedman PM. 1,064-nm Q-switched neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser and 1,550-nm fractionated erbium-doped fiber laser for the treatment of nevus of Ota in Fitzpatrick skin type IV. Dermatol Surg 2011;37:1163-7.   Back to cited text no. 4
5.Weiss ET, Geronemus RG. Combining fractional resurfacing with Q-S ruby laser for tattoos. Dermatol Surg 2010;36:1-3.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Ibrahimi OA, Syed Z, Sakamoto FH, Avram MM, Anderson RR. Treatment of tattoo allergy with ablative fractional resurfacing: Anovel paradigm for tattoo removal. J Am Acad Dermatol2011;64:1111-4.   Back to cited text no. 6
7.Landau JM, Vergilis-Kalner I, Goldberg LH, Geronemus RG, Friedman PM. Treatment of nevus of Ota in Fitzpatrick skin type VI with the 1064-nm QS Nd: YAGlaser. Lasers Surg Med 2011;43:65-7.   Back to cited text no. 7
8.Kouba DJ, Fincher EF, Moy RL. Nevus of Ota successfully treated by fractionalphotothermolysis using a fractionated 1440-nm Nd: YAGlaser. Arch Dermatol 2008;144:156-8.   Back to cited text no. 8
9.Choi CW, Kim HJ, Lee HJ, Kim YH, Kim WS. Treatment of nevus of Ota using low fluence Q-switched Nd: YAG laser. Int J Dermatol 2013[Epub ahead of print].  Back to cited text no. 9

Correspondence Address:
Sanjeev J Aurangabadkar
Skin and Laser Clinic, First Floor, Brij Tarang, Green Lands, Begumpet, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2077.123400

Rights and Permissions


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  


 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded205    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal