Background: A variety of energy-based devices have been used to treat acne. However, all studies have been subjective and have not involved double-blind and randomized controlled studies.
Aims: We undertook a randomized controlled study evaluating the use of a 650 usec 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser compared with a sham in the treatment of acne.
Patients/methods: A total of 20 subjects with moderate-to-severe acne were randomized to receive either 650 usec 1064nm Nd:YAG laser or sham treatment. All subjects received 3 treatments, two weeks apart, plus an additional session undertaken 4 weeks after the 3rd treatment. Subjects were evaluated for investigator global improvement, improvement in inflammatory lesions, improvement in comedonal lesions, total porphyrin score, and total sebum score.
Results: The laser-treated group showed an Investigator's Global Assessment Scale (IGA) improvement of 26% compared with 7% for the sham group (a 271% improvement over sham treatment group). The treatment group also showed a decrease in the number of inflammatory lesions of 42% compared with 26% in the sham group (a 62% improvement over sham). The laser-treated cohort also experienced a reduction in total number of comedones similar to that seen with inflammatory lesions and a decrease in total porphyrin score. There was also an 18% reduction in sebum production in the treated group, compared with 9% in the sham group (a 100% improvement).
Conclusion: This is the first study that has compared laser treatment of acne compared with a sham treatment. A 650 usec 1064nm Nd:YAG laser can effectively treat acne.
Keywords: Nd:YAG; acne; laser.
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