Nevus of Ota
What is Nevus of Ota?
Nevus of Ota is birthmark that appears as a blue/black or grey patch that lies along the path of the ophthalmic and the trigeminal nerves. For this reason, most seem to be located on the forehead, periorbital and cheek region. It more common in Asians or darker skin types, and is found in women four times more frequently than men. This is an unusual birthmark where it can have an onset in infancy or may not appear until adolescence.
Nevus of Ota Treatment
The QX MAX ND Yag 1064nm laser has revolutionized the treatment of these birthmarks by selectively targeting the excess pigment in the skin without damaging the surrounding area or affecting normal skin tone. As these birthmarks tend to lie quite deep in the skin, it requires a long wavelength to target the appropriate excess pigmentation. This is a non-ablative (does not cut the surface of the skin) laser that “shatters” the pigment into tiny particles that can then be removed through the body’s natural excretion processes.
When treating the eyelid region, internal metal contact lens eye shield will need to be inserted. A numbing eye drop is placed into the eye prior to insertion, which makes it painless. As the laser targets the deep pigmentation, a snapping or prickly sensation may be felt. A topical numbing cream can be prescribed that can be applied 60-90 minutes prior to the treatment. Local anesthetic may be used when treating around the eyes to make the procedure easier to tolerate.
Immediately following the treatment, there will be some small areas of pinpoint bleeding, swelling and/or bruising. Although this can be quite alarming, it heals relatively quickly with no scarring. It is important to keep the skin well hydrated while healing.
The number of treatments required varies significantly between patients, but a minimum of four to eight treatments can be expected. Treatments should be spaced a minimum of three months apart to allow your body to remove as much of the excess pigment as possible before proceeding with next treatment. Our goal is not to completely eliminate the birthmark, but to fade it by 50-75% making it much less noticeable. As this type of pigmentation lies in the very deep layers of the skin, maintenance treatments may be required every few years if some of the pigment recurs.