Laser treatment can reduce inflammatory facial acne lesions with few side effects, new research shows. Moreover, it appears to work even with the darkest skin types.
The findings, which appear in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, are based on a study of 22 patients, with light to dark skin types, who underwent three treatments with the laser - specifically a1450-nanometer diode laser - at 3 to 4 week intervals.
The subjects received treatment at high or low doses on the left or the right side of the face, the report indicates.
After three treatments, average acne lesion counts were reduced by about 75% and 70% with the low and high dose treatment, respectively, Dr. Ming H. Jih, from the University of Texas School of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues report. These reductions basically persisted at a 12-month follow-up examination.
Side effects were minimal - typically transient redness and swelling - and the procedure-related pain was well tolerated, the investigators note.
The results indicate that the laser is a safe and effective treatment for facial inflammatory acne vulgaris, the researchers conclude.
They say it is “a suitable first-line, second-line, or (add-on) treatment modality for moderate to severe acne.”
SOURCE: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, July 2006.
Revision date: June 18, 2011
Last revised: by Jorge P. Ribeiro, MD