Prospective study of topical 5-aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy for the treatment of severe adolescent acne in Chinese patients

J Dermatol. 2015 May;42(5):504-7. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.12836. Epub 2015 Mar 13.


Acne vulgaris is one of the most common skin diseases in adolescents. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of topical 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA)-mediated photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of severe acne in Chinese adolescent patients. Twenty-one Chinese adolescent patients aged 12-18 years with Pillsbury III-IV severe facial acne were treated with three courses of ALA-PDT. A 5% ALA lotion was applied topically for 60 min followed by irradiation with light-emitting diode light at 633 nm with a light intensity of 75-80 mW/cm(2) and a light dose of 90-96 J/cm(2) . Clinical assessment was conducted before and after each treatment, and at each follow-up session. The total effective rates were 85.71%, 90.48%, and 95.23% after the three PDT sessions, and at the 4- and 8-week follow ups, respectively. ALA-PDT is an effective treatment for severe adolescent acne vulgaris, and is associated with mild and reversible side-effects.

Keywords: adolescent acne; aminolevulinic acid; photodynamic therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / adverse effects
  • Aminolevulinic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • China
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photochemotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Photochemotherapy* / methods
  • Photosensitizing Agents / adverse effects
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Aminolevulinic Acid