Type 2 minocycline-induced hyperpigmentation successfully treated with the novel 755 nm picosecond alexandrite laser–a case report

Katsumi Sasaki, Toshio Ohshiro, Takafumi Ohshiro, Reiko Sakio, Emi Fukazawa, Masahiro Toriumi, Tamotsu Ebihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aim: Minocycline therapy for acne vulgaris is associated with the occasional induction of various types of unsightly and often persistent hyperpigmentation, which is frequently resistant to hydroquinone treatment. Pigment-specific lasers have achieved some success with multiple treatment sessions. Recently, the picosecond domain 755 nm alexandrite laser (ps-Alex) has attracted attention in tattoo removal. The present study reports on the successful treatment, in a single ps-Alex session, of minocycline-associated pigmentation. Subject and method: Subsequent to a course of minocycline, a 28-year-old Asian female developed persistent type 2 minocycline-related pigmentation on the bilateral lower extremities which was recalcitrant to hydroquinone treatment. The patient had a test treatment on a small area with a Q-switched ruby laser and the ps-Alex, following which the ps-Alex was selected for the actual treatment (spot size, 2 mm; fluence, 6.37 J/cm²; pulsewidth, 750 ps) on one leg first, followed later by the contralateral leg. Results: Rapid clearance of the pigmentation was noted after a single ps-Alex session on both limbs without prolonged post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). At one year post-treatment, clearance had been maintained. Conclusions: Our results in this single case strongly suggest that the novel 755-nm ps-Alex laser is both safe and very effective for the treatment of type 2 minocycline-induced hyperpigmentation even in PIH-prone type IV Asian skin. Further trials with larger patient populations are warranted to confirm this optimistic result.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Asian skin
  • Minocycline
  • Picosecond alexandrite laser
  • Postinflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • Type 2 minocycline-induced pigmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering


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