Laser- and light-based treatments for acne have a long history of use and address the desire for interventions that can overcome the problems of poor patient compliance with topical therapies and side effects accompanying systemic medications. In addition, the energy-based approaches are relatively easy to perform, safe, and effective, at least compared with sham treatment. Predictability, however, has been an ongoing issue.
Two novel energy-based approaches, one that was approved for the treatment of mild-to-moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris in 2012, and the other that is now being investigated in an FDA clinical trial in the United States, are generating excitement about the potential to expand the role for energy-based device treatment of acne, says David J. Goldberg, M.D., J.D., director, Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of NY/NJ, New York, NY.
Dr. Goldberg discussed these modalities at the South Beach Symposium (Miami Beach, Fla., February 2016).
“We are on the cusp of an exciting new era in the treatment of acne,” he says.
The approach that is already available uses a 650-microsecond 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser (Neo, Aerolase). Dr. Goldberg notes that Nd:YAG laser treatment for acne is not new. The near infrared light emitted by these devices targets water in the sebaceous gland and causes a decrease in gland size and function through heating.