Quality-switched (QS) laser therapy is a safe and well-established treatment option for removing solar lentigines. Triple combination therapy (TCT) with the active pharmaceutical ingredients hydroquinone 5%, tretinoin 0.03%, and dexamethasone 0.03% is often used for skin-lightening.
This prospective, open-label trial compares the efficacy and safety of a QS Ruby laser (QSRL) and a TCT in the treatment of solar lentigines.
In total, 15 patients with symmetrically distributed solar lentigines on the back of both hands were included. The lesions on the back of the right hand were treated in one or 2 sessions with a QSRL, the ones on the back of the left hand with a TCT for 7 weeks accompanied by UV protection. Clinical results were evaluated 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 20 weeks after baseline.
Treatment with QSRL provided significant lightening (p = .01) compared with TCT. Both procedures were generally well-tolerated. Comparing the side effects, the laser produced significantly more crusting and hyperpigmentation than the TCT.
Both QSRL and TCT were capable in reducing solar lentigines in Fitzpatrick skin Type I to IV with an acceptable side effect profile. The QSRL provides faster, superior, and long lasting lightening compared with TCT.