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Studies Show Combination Laser Therapy Effective At Clearing Acne, Reducing Oil Production
Date:3/5/2009

that penetrates into the oil glands and is applied to the skin one hour prior to treatment. As it penetrates, ALA binds to the oil glands and sensitizes the cells to light.

The 14 patients treated with ALA PDT received one to six treatments depending on the severity of their acne and continued to use topical medications during and after the study. The control group consisted of four patients who were either treated with conventional therapy (such as systemic or topical medications) or with laser energy but without ALA PDT.

Upon analyzing the data, Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas found that all (100 percent) of the 14 patients in the ALA PDT treatment group experienced complete clearance of their acne. She reported that an average of 2.9 ALA PDT treatments was administered to this patient group and improvement in the acne lesions was visible within one to two weeks after the first treatment. By comparison, none of the four patients in the control group who were treated with either laser energy alone or conventional therapy achieved complete clearance of their acne.

"The first-of-a-kind study found this particular form of photodynamic therapy used in conjunction with topical therapy to be the first such treatment to achieve complete clearance of acne up to 13 months post treatment and a 77 percent clearance rate per treatment. Four subsequent studies conducted by other investigators involving an additional 75 patients demonstrated similar results," said Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas. "Patients also experienced an added benefit of significant improvement in their acne scars, as the pulsed dye laser offers superior penetration to the deeper layers of the skin where scars form."

Side effects were limited to mild redness that lasted for 48 hours, and the treatment was found to be safe even for patients of color with no complications, such as hyperpigmentation.

In her practice, Dr. Alexiades-A
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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