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ULTRAFORMER Study: High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound and Melasma

Published in the WILEY, the full title of this clinical study is: A study of efficacy and safety of high-intensity focused ultrasound for the treatment of melasma in Asians: A single-blinded, randomized, split-face, pilot study (Vasanop Vachiramon, et al.)

Here’s a brief rundown of the study:

Background: A recent report suggested potential of high-intensity focused ultrasound in improving UVB-induced hyperpigmentation in patients with Fitzpatrick skin type IV, but reports regarding its efficacy in other hyper-pigmented conditions including melasma are lacking.

Objectives: To investigate efficacy and safety of high-intensity focused ultrasound for the treatment of melasma in Asians.

Methods: Each side of the face of 25 melasma patients was randomized to receive 3-monthly sessions of high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment or serve as control. Lightness index, Melasma Area and Severity Index of malar area (MASIm) by blinded dermatologists, self-evaluated improvement and satisfaction scales by patients, and side effects were assessed every 4 weeks for 20 weeks.

Results: Twenty-one patients with Fitzpatrick skin type III and IV completed the study. There was a greater reduction of relative lightness index and MASIm after treatment in high-intensity focused ultrasound-treated side. However, there were no statistically significant differences between both sides. More than 50% improvement on treatment side was rated in 11 patients (52.4%). Side effects were minimal. None had worsening of melasma.

Conclusion: High-intensity focused ultrasound may be an adjuvant for treatment of melasma. Further studies with larger sample size and proper parameter settings are recommended to determine its efficacy. KEY WORDS: chloasma, hyperpigmentation, laser, melasma, pigmentary disorder

If you are interested in reading more then check out this study!
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