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Laser eradication of pigmented lesions: a review.

BACKGROUND: Pigmented lesions include solar lentigines, seborrheic keratoses, dermatosis papulosa nigra, ephelides, café-au-lait macules, nevus spilus, Becker's nevus, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma, nevocellular nevi, congenital nevi, junctional and compound melanocytic nevi, nevus of Ota and Ito, Hori's nevus, and blue nevi. Advances in laser technology have resulted in the ability to treat pigmented lesions with greater safety and efficacy.

OBJECTIVE: To review the literature on the use of cutaneous laser treatments for pigmented lesions using Medline.

RESULTS: The literature cited the use of various lasers to treat pigmented lesions, including argon, carbon dioxide, erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet, Q-switched, long-pulsed ruby, alexandrite, diode, and fractional lasers. For each lesion, we describe the efficacy of laser treatments, treatment intervals, and settings used for a variety of diagnoses.

CONCLUSION: The treatment of pigmented lesions continues to evolve as new laser technology emerges and improvements in existing devices are made. The ability to treat pigmented lesions with greater efficacy and safety has resulted from recent advances in laser technology.

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