Background: To investigate the effects of the 1.54 microm wavelength on active lesions of the face and of the back at the 2-year follow-up.
Methods: A 1.54 microm erbium:glass laser (Aramis, Quantel Medical, France) was used in combination with contact cooling set at +5 degrees C to treat acne on the face with the following parameters (3 ms, four pulses, 10 J/cm2, 2 Hz, cumulative fluence: 40 J/cm2). The laser spots were adjacent (maximum overlap: 20%) and delivered in rows in order to cover the entire area. Four treatments were performed at 4-week intervals in 25 patients with acne severity greater than 3 on the Burton scale. Acne lesion counts (papules, pustules, nodules, comedones) were performed prior to each treatment, and at 2, 4, 12, 18 and 24 months after the final treatment.
Results: Among the 25 patients, three were lost to follow-up, four were retreated. So, 18 patients had acne lesions counts 2 years after the fourth treatment. The mean percent reduction was 71% at the 6-month follow-up, 79% at the 1-year follow-up and 73% at the 2-year follow-up. No side effects were reported. All patients commented that their skin was less prone to oiliness. Biopsies taken after treatment showed progressive rarefaction and miniaturization of sebaceous glands and pilosebaceous follicles without morphologic damage to epidermal and dermal structures.
Conclusion: Active acne can be successfully treated by selective dermal heating with a 1.54 microm erbium:glass laser coupled to contact cooling, with no related side effects. Furthermore, this longer follow-up study demonstrates long-term acne clearing. Combined treatments with medications (oral or topical) or light (targeting Propionibacterium acnes) may also improve acne clearance.