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May 1995

Q-Switched Ruby Laser Treatment of Congenital Nevi

Author Affiliations

Division of Dermatology University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey— New Jersey Medical School Newark, NJ 07103-2714

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(5):621-623. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690170125030

The Q-switched ruby laser has been used to treat a number of cutaneous lesions, including lentigines,1 tattoos, and nevus of Ota.2 The Q-switched ruby laser emits visible red light with a wave-length of 694 nm and pulse duration of 28 to 40 nanoseconds. This relatively long wavelength and short pulse duration allow for the absorption of laser energy into the dermis with minimal textural changes. Laser energy is selectively absorbed by both keratinocytes and melanocytes containing melanosomes. Although melanin in these melanosomes has an absorption spectrum that is highest in the UV range, diminishing toward the infrared range, there is minimal competitive absorption of ruby energy (694 nm) by oxyhemoglobin.3

Management of congenital nevi has been the subject of much debate over the past decade. This stems from the unresolved controversy concerning their potential for malignant degeneration, specifically to malignant melanoma. We report on the use

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