nevus of ota treatment

Nevus of Ota

The Picosecond laser is the most effective modality for treating Nevus of Ota.

Using ultrashort pulses, the Picosecond laser removes deep pigments within your skin.

nevus of ota treatment

What Is Nevus of Ota?

Nevus of Ota, also known as oculodermal melanocytosis, is a condition characterized by a blue or grayish-brown pigmentation of the skin around the eyes, on the forehead, temples, cheeks, or around the mouth.


HOW DR.NG treats nevus of Ota

Dr Ng’s approach with Nevus of Ota is based on your skin condition, aesthetic concerns, skin type and depth of the pigment. Based on his clinical experience with laser skin surgery and resurfacing for over 15 years, Dr Ng. believes in an individualized approach to deliver improvements in skin health and beauty with unique skin treatment protocols.

Nevus of Ota Treatment

Nevus of Ota treatment with current laser technology is the first-line therapeutic modality. Lasers work by breaking down the deep dermal pigments which are naturally cleared by your body. With increased efficacy and safety with laser systems, you can see an improvement within a few treatment sessions.

What Causes It?

The exact cause of Nevus of Ota is currently unknown. From studies, it is observed that there is presence of pigment producing cells (melanocytes) in the deeper dermal layers of the skin. It follows the distribution of the trigeminal nerves of the face, mainly the ophthalmic and maxillary nerves branches. Whilst the precise cause remains unknown, genetic and hormonal factors may play a role.

Who Gets Nevus of Ota?

Although Nevus of Ota is most common in individuals of Asian ethnicity, it can also be observed in individuals with darker skintype.

Nevus of Ota may present shortly after birth or during the teenage years. It appears that women are 5 times more likely to be affected than men.

What Does It Look Like?

Nevus of Ota can have a bluish tinge or brown discolouration depending on how deep the pigments reside in the skin. With increasing age, you may notice the colour darkening. The pigmentation is most obvious around the eyes, cheeks and forehead. The white of the eyes and inner mouth may be affected in some cases. There may be a risk of glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyes) if there is eye involvement and follow up with an eye doctor is advised.

Nevus of Ota resembles Hori’s nevus in some respect but the latter usually presents bilaterally and onset is in older individuals.

How Is Nevus of Ota Diagnosed?

Most cases can be diagnosed based on the history and careful clinical examination. A skin biopsy may be helpful in cases where the diagnosis is in doubt.

Nevus of Ota Treatment

laser nevus of ota treatment
Laser Nevus of Ota treatment

Pigment specific Laser for Nevus of Ota treatment is the main therapeutic modality to successfully treat the condition. In the past, methods included dermabrasion, electrosurgery and cryotherapy but these were associated with higher risks of scarring and side effects.

The most common lasers for Nevus of Ota include the Q-Switched (nanosecond) and Pico-second laser. While the Q-Switched laser is effective at breakdown the pigments, Picosecond lasers are associated with less pain, shorter downtime and smaller chance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Picosecond laser uses ultra-short pulses to mechanically (photomechanical effect) breakdown the unwanted pigments into smaller fragments. As there is less thermal output, collateral damage to surrounding skin structures are minimised. From studies, Picoseond laser Nevus of Ota treatment is both safe and effective.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nevus of Ota

A numbing cream is applied prior to your treatment to optimise your comfort.

There will be mild redness, swelling and pin-point bleeding immediately after the procedure. However, over the next few days, these will subside almost completely. As with laser procedures, there is a risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation.

On average, 4-8 treatment sessions may be necessary to treat the condition. The treatments are spaced at 2-3 monthly intervals so that healing can take place. Some studies appear to show that blue coloured Nevus of Ota respond better to laser therapy.

It is important to avoid direct and intense sun after your procedure. Application of sunscreen and moisturizers are encouraged after your treatment.

Individuals with active skin inflammation and infection cannot do laser treatment until the condition is cleared. Treatment is not carried out in individuals who are sensitive to light, have seizures associated with light, pregnancy and breastfeeding women.

While there is no clear genetic pattern of inheritance, there are some cases where family members may also have similar pigmentation. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s directly inherited.

The effectiveness of treatment can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience significant lightening or removal of the pigmentation, while others may see minimal improvement. In some cases, the pigmentation may recur after treatment.

Since the exact cause is unknown, there are no specific prevention measures for Nevus of Ota. However, protecting the skin from excessive sun exposure may help reduce the risk of worsening pigmentation. This includes wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, and sunglasses.

In most cases, Nevus of Ota does not directly affect vision. However, if the pigmentation extends into the eye or surrounding tissues, it may lead to ocular complications such as glaucoma or vision changes. Regular eye exams are important for monitoring any potential issues.

schedule a consultation for Nevus of ota treatment in singapore

The evolution of laser technology has allowed better treatment outcomes with shorter downtime. The best Nevus of Ota treatment takes in account your skin type, extent and depth of involvement. Contact us today to schedule a consultation, so Dr. Ng can develop a personalized treatment approach for resolving your skin concerns and helping you to achieve long-term improvements in the health and appearance of your skin.

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  1. Yang, HGuo, LJia, G, et al. Treatment of nevus of Ota with 1064 nm picosecond Nd:YAG laser: A retrospective studyDermatologic Therapy2021346):e15152. 
  2. Achavanuntakul, P., Manuskiatti, W., Wanitphakdeedecha, R. et al. Early Treatment Initiation Improves Outcomes in Nevus of Ota: A 10-Year Retrospective Study. Am J Clin Dermatol 23, 105–114 (2022).
  3. Wu, D.C., Goldman, M.P., Wat, H. and Chan, H.H. (2021), A Systematic Review of Picosecond Laser in Dermatology: Evidence and Recommendations. Lasers Surg Med, 53: 9-49.