Laser-induced postinflammatory hyperpigmentation could be a limiting factor for selecting patients appropriate for the use of ruby laser in the treatment of lentigenes, especially in dark-skinned individuals.

A controlled comparison study in a university-based laser clinic center was conducted recently and published in Dermatologic Surgery, Volume 34, Number 11, November 2008 , pp. 1465-1468(4). Ninety-one solar lentigines in patients with skin type II, III, and IV were enrolled. All patients were followed for 6 months for frequency of side effects. Before-and-after photographs and images from all follow-up sessions were taken and then assessed by a blinded dermatologist for the evaluation of side effects.


Complete clearance was achieved in all patients. Postinflammatory dyspigmentation occurred in 7.8% patients with Fitzpatrick skin type II, 9.8% patients with type III, and 16.6 patients with type IV (p=.67); all improved over a 6-month follow-up period.


Q-switched ruby laser treatment is a safe procedure for the treatment of solar lentigines even in dark-skinned individuals. Considering routine factors in addition to melanin content alone is required for minimizing side effects, especially postinflammatory hyperpigmentation in darker skin.