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Clin Dermatol. 2006 Jan-Feb;24(1):26-32.

Laser therapy for acne.

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Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA.


Considered the most common skin disorder, acne affects millions of people every year. This multifactorial condition of the pilosebaceous follicle is a combination of at least four different primary pathogeneses. In recent years, acne therapies have been improving, becoming more effective, and targeting one or more of these causes. Many current therapies have drawbacks involving patient compliance, systemic toxicities, and bacterial resistance. Lasers are now established options in the armamentarium to treat acne. The 532-nm potassium titanyl phosphate laser, 585- and 595-nm pulsed dye lasers, 1450-nm diode laser, and 1540-nm erbium glass laser have been used with variable efficacy. Lasers may be best used in combination with other therapies to enhance their results. Photodynamic therapy has been successful with substances such as 5-aminolevulinic acid and indocyanine green. Lasers remain viable alternatives for people who may not desire or be able to use topical or systemic formulations. Drawbacks associated with lasers include potential pain, skin discoloration, and cost of treatment. Typically, multiple sessions are required to achieve the desired results, with future maintenance treatments possible to maintain the outcomes. With additional clinical trials underway, laser treatment of acne will surely advance and continue to be optimized in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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