Laser and Light Therapies for Acne

  • Voraphol Vejjabhinanta
  • Anita Singh
  • Rawat Charoensawad
  • Keyvan Nouri


Acne vulgaris is a very common cutaneous disorder which can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement.

Acne is a multifactorial disorder of pilosebaceous units and affects the areas of skin with the greatest concentration of sebaceous follicles such as the face, neck, chest, and back.

Common therapies for acne treatment include retinoids, keratolytic agents, antimicrobials, and anti-inflammatory agents.


Sebaceous Gland Intense Pulse Light Severe Acne Acne Lesion Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Laser 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1.  1.
    Leyden JJ. Therapy for acne vulgaris. N Engl J Med. 1997;336:1156-1162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2.  2.
    Kraning K, Odland GF. Prevalence, morbidity and cost of dermatologic diseases. J Invest Dermatol. 1979;73(Suppl):395-401.Google Scholar
  3.  3.
    Goodman G. Acne – natural history, facts and myths. Aust Fam Physician. 2006;35(8):613-616.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4.  4.
    Del Rosso JQ. Acne in the adolescent patient: interrelationship of psychological impact and therapeutic options. Today Ther Trends. 2001;19:473-484.Google Scholar
  5.  5.
    Elman M, Lebzelter J. Light therapy in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Dermatol Surg. 2004;30:139-146.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6.  6.
    Williams C, Layton AM. Persistent acne in women: implications for the patient and for therapy. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2006;7(5):281-290.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7.  7.
    Harrington CI. Post-adolescent acne and marital break-up. Br J Dermatol. 1997;137(3):478-479.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8.  8.
    Tan JK. Psychosocial impact of acne vulgaris: evaluating the evidence. Skin Ther Lett. 2004;9:1-3, 9.Google Scholar
  9.  9.
    Jappe U. Pathological mechanisms of acne with special emphasis on Propionibacterium acnes and related therapy. Acta Derm Venereol. 2003;83:241-248.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Leeming JP, Holland KT, Cunliffe WJ. The pathological and ecological significance of micro-organisms colonizing acne vulgaris comedones. J Med Microbiol. 1985;20:11-16.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Norris JFB, Cunliffe WJ. A historical and immunocytochemical study of early acne lesions. Br J Dermatol. 1988;118:651-659.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cunliffe WJ et al. Comedogenesis: some new aetiological, clinical and therapeutic strategies. Br J Dermatol. 2000;142(6):1084-1091.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zouboulis CC et al. What is the pathogenesis of acne? Exp Dermatol. 2005;14(2):143-152.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pochi PE, Shalita AR, Strauss JS. Report of the Consensus Conference on Acne Classification. Washington, DC, March 24 and 25, 1990. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1991;24:495-500.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cunliffe WB, Goulden V. Phototherapy and acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol. 2000;142(5):855-856.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lloyd JR, Mirkov M. Selective photothermolysis of the sebaceous glands for acne treatment. Lasers Surg Med. 2002;31(2):115-120.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bjerring P, Clement M, Heickendorff L, Lybecker H, Kiernan M. Dermal collagen production following irradiation by dye laser and broadband light source. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2002;4:39-43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Patel N, Clement M. Selective nonablative treatment of acne scarring with 585 nm flashlamp pulsed dye laser. Dermatol Surg. 2002;28:942-945.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Tan OT, Sherwood K, Gilchrest BA. Treatment of children with port-wine stains using the flashlamp pulsed tunable dye laser. N Engl J Med. 1989;320:416-421.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Orringer JS, Kang S, Hamilton T, et al. Treatment of acne vulgaris with a pulsed dye laser. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2004;291:2834-2839.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Seaton ED, Charakida A, Mouser PE, Grace I, Clement RM, Chu AC. Pulsed-dye laser treatment for inflammatory acne vulgaris: randomized controlled trial. Lancet. 2003;362:1347-1352.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Bowes LE. Clinical Case Report of Treatment of Acne Vulgaris with 532 nm KTP Laser Laserscope. White Paper 2003.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Bowes LE, Manstein D, Anderson RR. Effects of 532 nm KTP laser exposure on acne and sebaceous glands. Lasers Surg Med. 2003;18:S6-S7.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lee CMW. Aura 532 nm laser for acne vulgaris – a 3 year experience: Annual Combined Meeting of the American Society for Dermatolgic Surgery and the American Society for Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology; October 2003; New Orleans.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Baugh W, Kucaba W. Nonablative phototherapy for acne vulgaris using the KTP 532 nm laser. Dermatol Surg. 2005;31:1290-1296.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Paithankar DY, Ross EV, Saleh BA, Blair MA, Graham BS. Acne treatment with a 1450 nm wavelength laser and cryogen spray cooling. Lasers Surg Med. 2002;31:106-114.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Friedman PM, Jih MH, Kimyai-Asadi A, Goldberg LH. Treatment of inflammatory facial acne vulgaris with the 1450-nm diode laser: a pilot study. Dermatol Surg. 2004;30:147-151.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mazer JM. Treatment of facial acne with a 1450 nm diode laser: a comparative study. Lasers Surg Med. 2004;34:S67.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Alam M, Peterson SR, Silapunt S, Chopra K, Friedman PM, Goldberg LH. Comparison of the 1450 nm diode laser for the treatment of facial acne: a left–right randomized trial of the efficacy and adverse effects. Lasers Surg Med. 2003;32:S30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Chernoff G. The Utilization of 1320 nm Nd:YAG Energy for the Treatment of Active Acne Vulgaris. Cooltouch Inc; White Paper 2004.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Boineau D, Angel S, Nicole A, Dahan S, Mordon S. Treatment of active acne with an Er:glass (1.54 um) laser. Lasers Surg Med. 2004;34:S55.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kassir M, Newton D, Maris M, Euwer R, Servell P. Er:glass (1.54 mm) laser for the treatment of facial acne vulgaris. Lasers Surg Med. 2004;34:S65.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lee W, Shalita A, Poh-Fitzpatrick M. Comparative studies of porphyrin production in Propionibacterium acnes and Propioni­bacterium granulosum. J Bacteriol. 1978;133:811-815.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Weishaupt K, Gomer C, Dougherty T. Identification of singlet oxygen as the cytotoxic agent in photoinactivation of a murine tumor. Cancer Res. 1976;36:2326-2329.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Niedre M, Yu C, Patterson M, et al. Singlet oxygen luminescence as an in vivo photodynamic therapy dose metric: validation in normal mouse skin with topical amino-levulinic acid. Br J Cancer. 2005;92:298-304.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Taub AF. Photodynamic therapy in dermatology: history and horizons. J Drugs Dermatol. 2004;3(1 Suppl):S8-S25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Elman M et al. The effective treatment of acne vulgaris by a high-intensity, narrow band 405–420 nm light source. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2003;5(2):111-117.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Tzung TY et al. Blue light phototherapy in the treatment of acne. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2004;20(5):266-269.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Tremblay JF, Sire DJ, Lowe NJ, Moy RL. Light-emitting diode 415 nm in the treatment of inflammatory acne: an open-label, multicentric, pilot investigation. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2006;8(1):31-33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Omi T, Bjerring P, Sato S, et al. 420 nm intense continuous light therapy for acne. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2004;6(3):156-162.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Morton CA, Scholefield RD, Whitehurst C, Birch J. An open study to determine the efficacy of blue light in the treatment of mild to moderate acne. J Dermatol Treat. 2005;16(4):219-223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Kjelstad B, Johnson A. An action spectrum for blue and near ultraviolet inactivation of Propionibacterium acnes; with emphasis on a possible porphyrins photosensitization. Photochem Photobiol. 1986;43:67-70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Papageorgiou P, Katsambas A, Chu A. Phototherapy with blue (415 nm) and red (660 nm) light in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol. 2000;142:973-978. 22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Cunliffe WJ, Goulden V. Phototherapy and acne vulgaris. Br J Dermatol. 2000;142:853-856.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Young S et al. Macrophage responsiveness to light therapy. Lasers Surg Med. 1989;9:497-505.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Lee SY et al. Blue and red light combination LED phototherapy for acne vulgaris in patients with skin phototype IV. Lasers Surg Med. 2007;39(2):180-188.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Goldberg DJ, Russell BA. Combination blue (415 nm) and red (633 nm) LED phototherapy in the treatment of mild to severe acne vulgaris. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2006;8(2):71-75.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Gregory AN, Thornfeld CR, Leibowitz KR, Lane M. A study on the use of a novel light and heat energy system to treat acne vulgaris. Cosmet Dermatol. 2004;17:287-291.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Elman M, Lebzelter J. Evaluating Pulsed Light and Heat Energy in Acne Clearance Radiancy. White Paper, 2002.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Elman M, Lask G. The role of pulsed light and heat energy (LHE (TM)) in acne clearance. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2004;6:91-95.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Voraphol Vejjabhinanta
    • 1
    • 2
  • Anita Singh
    • 3
  • Rawat Charoensawad
    • 4
  • Keyvan Nouri
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous SurgeryUniversity of Miami, Leonard, M. Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Dermatology, Siriraj HospitalMahidol UniversityBangkokThailand
  3. 3.Albert Einstein College of MedicineMontefiore Medical CenterBronxUSA
  4. 4.Biophile Training CenterBangkokThailand
  5. 5.Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer CenterUniversity of Miami Hospital and ClinicsMiamiUSA
  6. 6.Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous SurgeryUniversity of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

Personalised recommendations