Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 1071–1079 | Cite as

Lasers for Becker’s nevus

  • Yiping Zhong
  • Bin Yang
  • Lining Huang
  • Peter M. Elias
  • Mao-Qiang ManEmail author
Review Article


Becker’s nevus is a common pigmented dermatosis, usually featured by ipsilateral pigmented patch with hypertrichosis. Becker’s nevus is often treated with various types of lasers although other regimens are available. However, clinical outcomes appear inconsistent among studies. To summarize the clinical outcomes of Becker’s nevus treated with lasers via literature review. A variety of lasers had been used alone or in combination to treat Becker’s nevus. Laser wavelengths used for Becker’s nevus ranged from 504 to 10,600 nm, while the number of treatment varied from 1 to 12 sessions. The clinical outcomes were mixed although combination of lasers with different wavelengths appeared to achieve a better efficacy. Adverse effects were usually mild to moderate erythema. While lasers are relatively safe, their efficacy for Becker’s nevus is moderate. It seems that combination therapy could improve the outcome. However, trials in larger group of patients are required to validate the efficacy of each type of lasers for Becker’s nevus.


Becker’s nevus Laser Pigmentation Hypertrichosis 



This study was funded in part by NIH grants (AR061106), with resources from the Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    de Almeida HL Jr, Duquia RP, Souza PR, Breunig Jde A (2010) Prevalence and characteristics of Becker nevus in Brazilian 18-year-old males. Int J Dermatol 49:718–720CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ballone E, Fazii P, Lappa G, Di Mascio R, Di Mascio C, Schioppa F (2003) Prevalence of Becker's nevi in a population of young men in Central Italy. J Am Acad Dermatol 48:795CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kim YJ, Roh MR, Lee JH, Na JI, Ko JY, Jung JM, Lee JH, Chang SE (2018) Clinicopathologic characteristics of early-onset Becker's nevus in Korean children and adolescents. Int J Dermatol 57:55–61CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sood A, D'Souza P, Verma KK (1998) Becker's naevus occurring at birth and in early childhood. Acta Derm Venereol 78:311CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Fehr B, Panizzon RG, Schnyder UW (1991) Becker’s nevus and malignant melanoma. Dermatologica 182:77–80CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rao AG (2015) Bilateral symmetrical congenital Giant Becker's nevus: a rare presentation. Indian J Dermatol 60:522CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rasi A, Berenji Ardestani H, Tabaie SM (2014) Hypertrichosis is not so prevalent in Becker's nevus: analysis of 47 cases. ISRN Dermatol 2014:953747CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hernandez-Quiceno S, Uribe-Bojanini E, Ramírez-Jiménez JJ et al (2016) Becker's nevus syndrome in a pediatric female patient. Case Rep Pediatr 2016:3856518PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zhong Y, Chen Y, Huang L, Wang H, Yan T, Yang B, Man MQ (2018, 2018) Lightening Becker nevus with topical glycolic acid. J Am Acad Dermatol.
  10. 10.
    Tan OT, Morelli JG, Kurban AK (1992) Pulsed dye laser treatment of benign cutaneous pigmented lesions. Lasers Surg Med 12:538–542CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tse Y, Levine VJ, McClain SA, Ashinoff R (1994) The removal of cutaneous pigmented lesions with the Q-switched ruby laser and the Q-switched neodymium: yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser. A comparative study. J Dermatol Surg Oncol 20:795–800CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Suh DH, Han KH, Chung JH (2001) The use of Q-switched Nd:YAG laser in the treatment of superficial pigmented lesions in Koreans. J Dermatol Treat 12:91–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Piccolo D, Di Marcantonio D, Crisman G, Cannarozzo G, Sannino M, Chiricozzi A, Chimenti S (2014) Unconventional use of intense pulsed light. Biomed Res Int 2014:618206CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Moreno Arias GA, Ferrando J (2001) Intense pulsed light for melanocytic lesions. Dermatol Surg 27:397–400CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kopera D, Hohenleutner U, Landthaler M (1997) Quality-switched ruby laser treatment of solar lentigines and Becker's nevus: a histopathological and immunohistochemical study. Dermatology 194:338–343CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nelson JS, Applebaum J (1992) Treatment of superficial cutaneous pigmented lesions by melanin-specific selective photothermolysis using the Q-switched ruby laser. Ann Plast Surg 29:231–237CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nanni CA, Alster TS (1998) Treatment of a Becker's nevus using a 694-nm long-pulsed ruby laser. Dermatol Surg 24:1032–1034PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Choi JE, Kim JW, Seo SH, Son SW, Ahn HH, Kye YC (2009) Treatment of Becker's nevi with a long-pulse alexandrite laser. Dermatol Surg 35:1105–1108CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Alegre-Sanchez A, Jiménez-Gómez N, Moreno-Arrones ÓM, Fonda-Pascual P, Pérez-García B, Jaén-Olasolo P (2018) Boixeda P (2018) treatment of flat and elevated pigmented disorders with a 755-nm alexandrite picosecond laser: clinical and histological evaluation. Lasers Med Sci.
  20. 20.
    Chan JC, Shek SY, Kono T, Yeung CK, Chan HH (2016) A retrospective analysis on the management of pigmented lesions using a picosecond 755-nm alexandrite laser in Asians. Lasers Surg Med 48:23–29CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Levin MK, Ng E, Bae YS, Brauer JA, Geronemus RG (2016) Treatment of pigmentary disorders in patients with skin of color with a novel 755 nm picosecond, Q-switched ruby, and Q-switched Nd:YAG nanosecond lasers: a retrospective photographic review. Lasers Surg Med 48:181–187CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lapidoth M, Adatto M, Cohen S, Ben-Amitai D, Halachmi S (2014) Hypertrichosis in Becker's nevus: effective low-fluence laser hair removal. Lasers Med Sci 29:191–193CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Trelles MA, Allones I, Moreno-Arias GA, Vélez M (2005) Becker's naevus: a comparative study between erbium: YAG and Q-switched neodymium:YAG; clinical and histopathological findings. Br J Dermatol 152:308–313CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Trelles MA, Allones I, Vélez M, Moreno-Arias GA (2004) Becker's nevus: Erbium:YAG versus Q-switched neodimium:YAG? Lasers Surg Med 34:295–297CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Koch D, Pratsou P, Szczecinska W, Lanigan S, Abdullah A (2015) The diverse application of laser hair removal therapy: a tertiary laser unit's experience with less common indications and a literature overview. Lasers Med Sci 30:453–467CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Glaich AS, Goldberg LH, Dai T, Kunishige JH, Friedman PM (2007) Fractional resurfacing: a new therapeutic modality for Becker's nevus. Arch Dermatol 143:1488–1490CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Al-Saif F, Al-Mekhadab E, Al-Saif H (2017) Efficacy and safety of short-pulse erbium: yttrium aluminum garnet laser treatment of Becker's nevus in Saudi patients: a pilot study. Int J Health Sci (Qassim) 11:14–17Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Meesters AA, Wind BS, Kroon MW, Wolkerstorfer A, van der Veen JP, Nieuweboer-Krobotová L, van der Wal AC, Bos JD, Beek JF (2011) Ablative fractional laser therapy as treatment for Becker nevus: a randomized controlled pilot study. J Am Acad Dermatol 65:1173–1179CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wind BS, Meesters AA, Kroon MW, Beek JF, van der Veen JP, van der Wal AC, Bos JD, Wolkerstorfer A (2012) Formation of fibrosis after nonablative and ablative fractional laser therapy. Dermatol Surg 38:437–442CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wulkan AJ, McGraw T, Taylor M (2018) Successful treatment of Becker's nevus with long-pulsed 1064-nm Nd:YAG and 755-nm alexandrite laser and review of the literature. J Cosmet Laser Ther 20:211–214CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Balaraman B, Friedman PM (2016) Hypertrichotic Becker's nevi treated with combination 1,550 nm non-ablative fractional photothermolysis and laser hair removal. Lasers Surg Med 48:350–353CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Murray A, Basu R, Fairclough PD, Wood RF (1989) Gallstone lithotripsy with the pulsed dye laser: in vitro studies. Br J Surg 76:457–460CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kollias N, Baqer AH (1987) Absorption mechanisms of human melanin in the visible, 400-720 nm. J Investig Dermatol 89:384–388CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ranaweera A. Obtained on 11/16/2018
  35. 35.
    Jung HJ, Moon SY, Sohn MY, Jang YH, Lee SJ, Kim DW, Lee WJ (2017) Some Becker's nevus melanocytes remain alive after treatment with Q-switched alexandrite laser. Ann Dermatol 29:352–355CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
  37. 37.
    Hassan AM, Elfar NN, Rizk OM, Eissa NY (2018) Pulsed dye laser versus intense pulsed light in melasma: a split-face comparative study. J Dermatol Treat 29:725–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Li N, Han J, Hu D, Cheng J, Wang H, Wang Y, Yang X, Liu J, Li T, Zhao W (2018) Intense pulsed light is effective in treating postburn hyperpigmentation and telangiectasia in Chinese patients. J Cosmet Laser Ther:1–6.
  39. 39.
    El Bedewi AF (2004) Hair removal with intense pulsed light. Lasers Med Sci 19:48–51CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Taylor CR, Anderson RR (1993) Treatment of benign pigmented epidermal lesions by Q-switched ruby laser. Int J Dermatol 32:908–912CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Nistico SP, Del Duca E, Farnetani F, Guida S, Pellacani G, Rajabi-Estarabadi A, Nouri K (2018) Removal of unwanted hair: efficacy, tolerability, and safety of long-pulsed 755-nm alexandrite laser equipped with a sapphire handpiece. Lasers Med Sci 33:1479–1483CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Simşek Kaya G, Yapici Yavuz G, Sümbüllü MA, Dayi E (2012) A comparison of diode laser and Er:YAG lasers in the treatment of gingival melanin pigmentation. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol 113:293–299CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Moody MN, Landau JM, Goldberg LH, Friedman PM (2012) Fractionated 1550-nm erbium-doped fiber laser for the treatment of periorbital hyperpigmentation. Dermatol Surg 38:139–142CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Kilmer SL, Garden JM (2000) Laser treatment of pigmented lesions and tattoos. Semin Cutan Med Surg 19:232–244CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aesthetic Department, Dermatology HospitalSouthern Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Dermatology Services, Department of DermatologyUniversity of California San Francisco and Veterans Affairs Medical CenterSan FranciscoUSA

Personalised recommendations