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

rmenakas doesn't recommend ALA PDT as a first-line therapy for treating acne and initially tries to clear the condition using topical or systemic medications, including isotretinoin. However, she noted that some patients are not good candidates for isotretinoin based on their medical history or they may have tried this therapy and did not respond favorably to it. In cases where other therapies have failed, she said ALA PDT is an excellent option that delivers dramatic results for the majority of patients.

For patients with intermittent acne flares and pronounced oily skin with large pores, ALA PDT treatment with a 1450nm diode laser that heats the deep layer of skin where the oil glands are located has been shown to help these patients in as little as one to three treatments. "Typically, women aged 35 to 50 most often experience this pesky type of acne with noticeably oily skin and visible pores," said Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas. "In my experience, I have found that combination ALA PDT treatment with a 1450 nm diode laser results in remarkably significant oil reduction and a decrease in pore size with acne clearing. Even oily skin can negatively impact one's quality of life, and my patients are so happy that there is finally a treatment that can help this condition."

Another variation of PDT therapy that is being investigated uses the photosensitizer topical methyl-aminolevulinic acid (MAL) with either PDT or red light. Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas noted that MAL may have better specialized absorption into acne cysts than ALA, but - for reasons not entirely known at this point - it has not yet been found to improve oily skin.

"Although early studies with MAL and PDT or red light appear to be promising, we have to make sure it doesn't have side effects commonly associated with red light - such as blistering, scabbing or hyperpigmentation," cautioned Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas. "This still leaves open the possibility of combinin
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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