A comparison of Q-switched alexandrite laser and intense pulsed light for the treatment of freckles and lentigines in Asian persons: A randomized, physician-blinded, split-face comparative trial

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Q-switched (QS) pigmented lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) successfully treat pigment disorders.


We sought to compare efficacy and side effects of QS alexandrite laser (QSAL) and IPL for freckle and lentigo treatment in Asians.


In all, 15 patients with freckles and 17 patients with lentigines were treated randomly with one session QSAL in one cheek and two sessions IPL in the other cheek at 4-week intervals. Efficacy was determined using a new pigmentation area and severity index score.


All patients experienced improvement (P < .0001). Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation developed in one patient with freckles and 8 patients with lentigines after QSAL. No postinflammatory hyperpigmentation occurred after IPL. Freckles achieved greater improvement after QSAL than IPL (P = .04). In lentigines, the results after IPL were better than QSAL among those with postinflammatory hyperpigmentation after QSAL.


Limitations include a small case number and short follow-up period.


QSAL was superior to IPL for freckle treatment. IPL should be used for lentigines in Asian persons.

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