A split-face, investigator-blinded comparative study on the efficacy and safety of Q-switched Nd:YAG laser plus microneedling with vitamin C versus Q-switched Nd:YAG laser for the treatment of recalcitrant melasma

Ustuner P., BALEVİ A., Ozdemir M.

Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, vol.19, no.7, pp.383-390, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14764172.2017.1342036
  • Journal Name: Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.383-390
  • Keywords: Melasma, microneedling, Q-switched lasers, vitamin C
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: High recurrence has previously been reported in the treatment of melasma with low-fluence 1,064-nm Q-switched neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (QS-Nd:YAG) laser. On the other hand, the efficacy and safety of the QS-Nd:YAG laser plus microneedling with vitamin C have not been evaluated in patients with mixed-type melasma. Material and methods: Sixteen patients with recalcitrant dermal- or mixed-type melasma were included in the study. One side of patients’ face was treated with QS-Nd:YAG laser plus microneedling with vitamin C (Group A) and the other side with QS-Nd:YAG laser alone (Group B) for four sessions at four-week intervals. Melasma Area Severity Index (MASI) scores and clinician’s evaluation of clinical response were assessed monthly. Results: Group A had a significantly lower mean MASI score and better treatment response than Group B according to clinician’s evaluation. According to MASI scores, in Group B, two patients had a good response while 12 were unresponsive to treatment. Good or very good improvement was reported by 10 patients in Group A and three patients in Group B. Adverse effects and recurrence rates were similar in Groups A and B (31.3 and 43.8%, respectively). Discussion: QS-Nd:YAG increases the blood circulation in the dermis, thereby enhancing the mechanical effect of microneedling to promote the penetration of vitamin C. Conclusion: Vitamin C application with microneedling immediately after treatment with QS-Nd:YAG laser is a promising adjunctive method for the treatment of recalcitrant melasma.