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February 1992

Lack of Efficacy of the Q-Switched Ruby Laser in the Treatment of Vitiligo

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology New York University Medical Center 562 First Ave New York, NY 10016

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(2):277-278. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680120153032

To the Editor.—  The Q-switched ruby laser has become the treatment of choice for the removal of tattoos and is finding increasing application in the treatment of pigmentary disorders.1 It has been observed that treatment with this laser at low-energy fluences may result in epidermal hyperpigmentation at the treated sites.2 To explore this observation further, we undertook a study of patients with vitiligo to determine if treatment with the Q-switched ruby laser at subthreshold doses would stimulate pigmentation of affected sites.

Patients and Methods.—  Seven patients with vitiligo between the ages of 15 and 60 years (mean age, 31 years) participated in the study at New York (NY) University between January and June 1991. Four patients were male and all were white. No patient had associated thyroid disease, pernicious anemia, diabetes, ocular abnormalities, deafness, or a history of melanoma. The onset of vitiligo ranged from 6 months to

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