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Risk Factors for "Melasma-like Hyperpigmentation" Induced by Intense Pulsed Light Therapy in Asians and its Prevention: a Retrospective Clinical Case-control Study
Lin Fang, PHD, Luping Huang, PhD, MD.
PeKing Union Medical College, China, China.

Purpose:
It was reported that IPL-induced melasma-like hyperpigmentation (MLH) would eventually lead to melasma. The study investigated the manifestation, influence factors and preventive techniques of MLH.
Methods:
675 Asian patients with Fitzpatrick skin types III-IV treated with IPL were retrospectively studied.
Results:
Symmetric MLH was identified in 20 of 675 cases (2.96%; two male, 18 female). The mean age of 20 patients were 32.25±5.79 years. The number of IPL treatment sessions was 2.20±0.08. Twelve of the 20 cases were diagnosed as photoaging (60%) and eight as freckles (40%). The pigmentary lesions of 14 of the 20 cases (70%), including eight of the cases with prior photoaging and six with prior freckles, were characterized by multiple and widespread pigmentation with unclear edges and fusion trends that were diagnosed as "melasma trend" skin lesions. Six of the 20 cases with MLH (30%) had "strong" reactions after IPL treatment. Six (6/20, 30%) in the MLH group were not regular users of sunscreen. The non-MLH 655 subjects were aged from 15 to 65 years (mean, 34.48±8.89 years), comprised 21 male and 634 female subjects, and had undergone 2.24±0.13 IPL treatment sessions. Influence factors including freckles, "melasma trend" lesions, and strong post-IPL reactions were found to be statistically significant risk factors (P<0.05). These data are shown in Table 1 and 2.
Conclusions:
MLH is an adverse event of IPL therapy in Asians. To avoid this complication, IPL users should be aware of the age, skin condition, parameters setting of IPL.


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