Physiology Sponsored by
Laser therapy can safely and effectively treat mild to severe cases of acne, according to a small preliminary study of 18 people.
Fourteen of the participants were treated with a combination of photodynamic therapy (PDT) using a long-pulsed, pulsed-dye laser and a photosensitizer called topical 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA). People received one to six treatments, depending on the severity of their acne, and continued to use topical medications during and after the study.
The four participants in the control group were treated either with conventional therapy (systemic or topical medications) or with laser energy but without ALA PDT. Complete clearance of acne was achieved in all 14 people in the ALA PDT group, who received an average of 2.9 ALA PDT treatments, the study found. Improvement in acne lesions was visible within one to two weeks after the first treatment. No one in the control group achieved complete acne clearance.
The findings were presented March 5 in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.