Cold Laser & LLLT Research & Studies on Treating Acne Vulgaris

Violet Laser offers many reported benefits for use on dermatological conditions. By exposing the surface of the skin to the blue/violet spectrum, researchers have demonstrated that moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris is quickly cleared. The research of blue/violet light wavelengths of 400-420nm clear acne by combining antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity, and that violet laser therapy is an effective and safe solution for acne. It promotes proliferation of cell reproduction, enhances the micro circulation to induce healing processes for acne outbreaks, reduces the inflammation of acne spots and eliminates bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes), which is the cause of acne.

Cold laser treatment can be an effective way to treat stubborn or severe acne without strong oral or topical medication. The cold laser, when used by a dermatologist to treat acne, kills the bacteria that causes acne (Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes for short), but leaves the healthy skin cells untouched. More studies are needed, but some dermatologists say this can cure acne permanently.

During the treatment itself, the cold laser is placed over affected areas of skin and can be applied for as little as four minutes or as long as 20 minutes, depending on the severity of the case. Patients report little discomfort from the procedure, and generally say they don't feel anything, or feel a slight warming of the skin. Acne treatment with the cold laser typically involves two treatments a week for six weeks. Many patients report seeing results after the second week of treatments. The time frame is similar to that experienced by patients being treated with Accutane, an oral medication often prescribed for severe acne, or with older, hot lasers. However, the side effects involved are reported to be dramatically reduced.

Light Therapy In The Treatment Of Acne Vulgaris Elman M, Lebzelter J.

Dermatology and Lasers Clinic, Tel Aviv Msq, Caesarea, Israel.
BACKGROUND : Over the past decade, lasers and light-based systems have become a common modality to treat a wide variety of skin-related conditions, including acne vulgaris. In spite of the various oral and topical treatments available for the treatment of acne, many patients fail to respond adequately or may develop side effects. Therefore, there is a growing demand by patients for a fast, safe, and side-effect-free novel therapy.

OBJECTIVES : To address the role of light therapy in the armamentarium of treatments for acne vulgaris, to discuss photobiology aspects and biomedical optics, to review current technologies of laser/light-based devices, to review the clinical experience and results, and to outline clinical guidelines and treatment considerations.

RESULTS : Clinical trials show that 85% of the patients demonstrate a significant quantitative reduction in at least 50% of the lesions after four biweekly treatments. In approximately 20% of the cases, acne eradication may reach 90%. At 3 months after the last treatment, clearance is approximately 70% to 80%. The nonrespondent rate is 15% to 20%.

CONCLUSIONS : Laser and light-based therapy is a safe and effective modality for the treatment of mild to moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris. Amelioration of acne by light therapy, although comparable to the effects of oral antibiotics, offers faster resolution and fewer side effects and leads to patient satisfaction.

Dermatol Nurs. 2009 Sep-Oct;21(5):303-4.
Studies show combination laser therapy effective at clearing acne, reducing oil production.

PMID: 19873701 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2008 Dec;27(4):285-91.
Laser treatment of acne, psoriasis, leukoderma, and scars.

Railan D, Alster TS.

Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, 1430 K Street, Washington, DC 20005, USA. [email protected]

Lasers frequently are used by dermatologists for their multiple aesthetic applications, but they also can be used to treat a variety of medical dermatology conditions. Conditions such as acne vulgaris, psoriasis, and vitiligo can all be successfully treated with laser, thereby providing the patient with additional therapeutic options. Lasers have also been used for years to improve the appearance of scars. The newer fractionated lasers have been especially effective in enhancing the clinical outcomes of scar revision.

PMID: 19150300 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Low-Intensity Indocyanine-Green Laser Phototherapy Of Acne Vulgaris: Pilot Study. Genina EA, Bashkatov AN, Simonenko GV, Odoevskaya OD, Tuchin VV, Altshuler GB.Saratov State University, Optics Department, Astrakhanskaya 83, Saratov 410026, Russia.

Near infrared (NIR) diode laser low-intensity (soft) phototherapy with the topical application of indocyanine green (ICG) has been suggested for treatment of acne vulgaris. Twelve volunteers with acne lesions on their faces and/or backs were enrolled in the experiment. Skin areas of the subjects that were 4x5 cm(2) were stained with ICG solution for 5 min before laser irradiation (803 nm) at a power density up to 50 mW/cm(2) for 5 to 10 min.
For 75% of the subjects, a single treatment was provided and for the other 25%, eight sequential treatments over a period of a month were carried out. Observations a month after the completion of the treatment showed that only the multiple treatments with a combination of ICG and NIR irradiation reduced inflammation and improved the state of the skin for a month without any side effects. A month after treatment, the improvement was about 80% for the group receiving multiple treatments. Single treatments did not have a prolonged effect.




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Cold Laser and LLLT Research and Studies on Treating Acne Vulgaris

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