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Nevus of Ota

Nevus of Ota is an uncommon pigmentation on the skin, often arising at birth but sometimes arising in childhood or teenage years.

Nevus of Ota

Nevus of Ota is a type of dermal melanocytosis that causes brown-blue hyperpigmentation of the eye and the surrounding area. The treatment choice for Nevus of Ota is laser therapy. Treatment can begin at any time, including early infancy. Our physicians treat patients of all ages, including infants and toddlers. At the Laser & Surgery Center of New York, we treat pediatric patients with this condition regularly. Because we tailor treatment to each individual patient, the choice of laser is based on the skin type of the patient. Treatments are performed with either topical anesthesia, local anesthesia and in some cases, none at all. Typically, multiple treatments are required.

Dr. Geronemus was the first to publish a paper about treating Nevus of Ota with lasers in 1992. Since that time, we have expanded our offerings to ensure every patient can be treated regardless of skin type and tone. 

Our practice is dedicated to treating patients of all ages with birthmark conditions and offer a child-friendly office to make families feel welcome and comfortable. Dr. Geronemus is a board member of the Vascular Birthmark Foundation, working with doctors and families to address vascular birthmarks safely and effectively. He treats patients of all ages, including infants and toddlers, using procedures that are quick and painless.

What are the treatment options?

The Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York offers the following lasers to effectively treat Nevus of Ota:

image of a before and after laser treatment to remove nevus of ota skin pigmentation on the side of the face

When Will I See Results?

Results vary for every patient, but the Nevus of Ota is usually completely resolved within two treatments.

How Long is the Recovery Time After Treatment?

Post-treatment recovery is based upon the choice of laser. Some of the treatments result in minimal redness of the skin for days, while others may lead to some crusting for a week or so following treatment.


Q-switched ruby laser therapy of nevus of Ota, Roy G. Geronemus, MD

PubMed (1992)

Treatment of Nevus of Ota in Fitzpatrick skin type VI with the 1064-nm QS Nd:YAG laser

Landau JM, Vergilis-Kalner I, Goldberg LH, Geronemus RG, Friedman PM

PubMed (2011)

Successful and safe use of Q-switched lasers in the treatment of nevus of Ota in children with phototypes IV-VI

Belkin DA, Jeon H, Weiss E, Brauer JA, Geronemus RG

PubMed (2018)

Real Patients Before and After photos

Laser Treatment for Nevus of Ota

Laser Treatment for Nevus of Ota

Laser Treatment for Nevus of Ota

Laser Treatment for Nevus of Ota

Laser Treatment for Nevus of Ota

Laser Treatment for Nevus of Ota

Nevus of Ota In The News

No results found.

Nevus of Ota

Questions and Answers

Q: What Are The Symptoms of Nevus of Ota?

A: Nevus of Ota is most typically unilateral and involves only one side of the face. People may experience hyperpigmentation in areas such as the eyelids, area around the eye, nose, forehead, cheeks, side of the face, whites of the eyes, and irises.

Q: What Causes Nevus of Ota?

A: There is no definitive research that shows the cause of Nevus of Ota. Some researchers believe that it might be caused by a genetic mutation, while others argue that hormonal factors or radiation may cause it.

Q: Are There Any Side Effects?

A: People who have Nevus of Ota that extends to the eye have shown to be at greater risk for the development of glaucoma. Doctors believe this is caused by melanocytes blocking the flow of fluids in the eye and raising the pressure in the eye. 

Q: Is Nevus of Ota Hereditary?

A: It is a non-hereditary pigmentation disorder that is more frequent in females than males, with an estimated 5:1 ratio.

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317 East 34th Street New York, NY 10016

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(212) 941-5055



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(631) 305-2402

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