Evaluating the Efficacy of Photodynamic Therapy with 20% Aminolevulinic Acid and Microdermabrasion as a Combination Treatment Regimen for Acne Scarring: A Split-face, Randomized, Double-blind Pilot Study

J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014 May;7(5):32-5.


Acne scarring is a consequence of abnormal resolution of wound healing after damage that occurs in the sebaceous follicle during acne inflammation. No trial to date has evaluated the efficacy of the combination of microdermabrasion and photodynamic therapy for acne scarring. This single-center, double-blinded pilot study enrolled subjects with moderate-to-severe acne scarring who were randomly assigned in a blinded fashion to use aminolevulinic acid and vehicle in a split-face fashion after full-face treatment with microdermabrasion. On average, 80 percent of the patients displayed more improvement in scarring on the aminolevulinic acid split face versus the vehicle split face after five treatments. Using two different noninvasive mechanisms of targeting acne scarring provided for a safe treatment regimen characterized by more efficacious results with respect to higher rates of scarring improvement.