Acne vulgaris remains a challenging disease to treat in many patients. Traditional therapies may have limited successes with potential side effects. Laser and light energy devices may offer a desirable alternative.
To evaluate the effectiveness and safety in using a combination laser approach with both long-pulsed (LP) and Q-switched (QS) Nd:YAG lasers in the treatment of active acne.
Twenty patients with moderate to severe inflammatory acne were treated with LP YAG laser followed immediately with QS YAG laser. Patients received at least 8 treatments. Follow-up evaluation occurred at a minimum of 12 months. Pre- and post-treatment photographs were graded by blinded physicians. All topical acne medications and oral antibiotics were discontinued throughout the therapy and follow-up period.
There was a 81% reduction in acne lesions, with 60% of patients having 90% or greater reduction. Overall appearance was graded at 84% improvement at follow-up. Follow-up occurred at a mean of 22.7 months after completion of therapy. Aside from transient erythema, there were no other adverse effects.
Active acne can be treated successfully with a combination of LP and QS YAG lasers with patients remaining off acne medications throughout laser therapy and the follow-up period.