Laser and light-based treatments of acne and acne scarring

Clin Dermatol. Mar-Apr 2017;35(2):183-189. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2016.10.012. Epub 2016 Oct 27.


The treatment of acne and acne scarring with lasers and light-based and energy-based technologies has become an integral component of our therapeutic arsenal. Lasers including infrared wavelengths and pulsed dye lasers; light devices including blue light, red light, and broadband light; and photodynamic therapy with aminolevulinic acid and methylaminolevulinic acid have been shown to be effective in the treatment of acne vulgaris. The optimal outcomes are achieved with photodynamic therapy combined with medical therapy. Acne scarring has been best treated with lasers, including nonablative infrared lasers, fractional nonablative and ablative laser resurfacing, and most recently needle-based radiofrequency devices.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / therapy*
  • Cicatrix / therapy*
  • Color Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Photochemotherapy / methods*