Current state of acne treatment: Highlighting lasers, photodynamic therapy, and chemical peels

Randie H. Kim, April W. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acne vulgaris continues to be a challenge to dermatologists and primary care physicians alike. The available treatments reflect the complex and multifactorial contributors to acne pathogenesis, with topical retinoids as first-line therapy for mild acne, topical retinoids in combination with anti-microbials for moderate acne, and isotretinoin for severe nodular acne. Unfortunately, these conventional therapies may not be effective against refractory acne, can lead to antibiotic resistance, and is associated with adverse effects. With the rise of new technologies and in-office procedures, light and laser therapy, photodynamic therapy, chemical peels, and comedo extraction are growing in popularity as adjunctive treatments and may offer alternatives to those who desire better efficacy, quicker onset of action, improved safety profile, reduced risk of antibiotic resistance, and non-systemic administration. Whereas adjunctive therapies are generally well-tolerated, the number of randomized controlled trials are few and limited by small sample sizes. Furthermore, results demonstrating efficacy of certain light therapies are mixed and studies involving photodynamic therapy and chemical peels have yet to standardize and optimize application, formulation, and exposure times. Nevertheless, adjunctive therapies, particularly blue light and photodynamic therapy, show promise as these treatments also target factors of acne pathogenesis and may potentially complement current conventional therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2
Number of pages1
JournalDermatology Online Journal
Volume17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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