Nevus of Ota-like Macules Treatment

Researches » Nevus of Ota-like Macules Treatment




Dermabrasion as an Effective Treatment

for Acquired Bilateral Nevus of Ota-like Macules


It is quite common for people of Asian origin to have that deep-seated light blue to brown macules or pigmentation on the cheeks, forehead, temple, and/or nasal alar rim. Due to their deep deposition, it is also often complained by patients that most treatments fail to improve it; hence, a study was launched by the researchers to see whether dermabrasion will be an effective means to treat the lesion.

The study was done over a period of 7 years, from January 1987 to January 1994. The study was conducted with 320 subjects, all of whom presented bilateral, usually symmetrical dermal pigmented lesions screened by Wood’s Lamp. All the patients were female, aged 28-50 years old with yellow to brown complexion. The lesions from 300 of the cases were located solely on both malar; 8 cases have simultaneous lesions on both malars and both temples; 7 cases have lesions on both malars, nasal alar rim, and on the bridge of the nose simultaneously; while the remaining 5 cases have lesions on both malars, temples, alar rim, nasal bridge, and the forehead.

All the patients were thoroughly oriented about the risks associated with dermabrasion such as pigmentation, unevenness of skin tone, and scarring.

The procedure (Dermabrasion) was done under local anesthesia. A hand engine with a maximum speed of 20,000 rpm and a coarse diamond fraise was used for the treatment. The entire areas with lesions were entirely dermabraded. The area treated extended at least 1cm beyond the boundary of the lesion. The end point of the procedure was determined either by complete clearance of pigments observed visually, or when one reached the middle or approached the lower dermis layer, even though there are still residual pigments.

The whole area treated with dermabrasion was packed and left for 7 days after which, antibiotic was applied daily until the scabs has fallen off. Two weeks after the procedure, almost all patients had no more crust, and the treated areas were left pink showing slight to moderate contrast to the untreated skin. The color contrast returned to normal in 6-12 months after the dermabrasion. During the first 3 months after the dermabrasion procedure, some patients developed hyperpigmentation which responded easily to topical hydroquinone.

Complete clearance was achieved by 310 of the 320 original subjects while the other 10 achieved 95% clearance. No recurrence was noted in any of the patients during the 7-year follow up.

See paper abstract here.

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