Background Hypermelanosis includes a diverse group of genetic and acquired skin anomalies that appear as darker, hyperpigmented areas. Melasma, in particular, is a hypermelanotic condition that affects sun-exposed skin in females. Whether this condition is acquired or genetic is still controversial. However, it clearly correlates with exposure to UV light, a genetic predisposition, and hormonal variations (from pregnancy or oral contraceptives).
Methods Between October 2006 and March 2008, 38 patients with melasma were treated with intense pulsed light (IPL) at the LASER Center of the Department of Health Science, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Session, University of L’Aquila. Diagnosis was based on medical history, physical examination, and video microscopy.