BACKGROUND. The 1450-nm diode laser has been found to damage sebaceous glands selectively and to be effective for the treatment of inflammatory acne on the back. OBJECTIVE. To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the 1450-nm diode laser in the treatment of inflammatory facial acne vulgaris. METHODS. Nineteen patients with inflammatory facial acne were treated with the 1450-nm diode laser at 4- to 6-week intervals. There was no control group. Clinical photographs and lesion counts were obtained at baseline and after each treatment. Subjective evaluation of response to treatment and pain was assessed using a questionnaire. RESULTS. All patients had a reduction in acne lesions. Lesion counts decreased 37% after one treatment (p<0.01), 58% after two treatments (p<0.01), and 83% after three treatments (p<0.01). Treatment-related pain was well tolerated, and adverse effects were limited to transient erythema and edema at treatment sites. CONCLUSION. This is the first published report documenting the safety and efficacy of laser treatment for inflammatory facial acne. In our study, clinical improvement was seen in all patients and was generally dramatic, even in those refractory to previous treatment with oral isotretinoin. Topical anesthetics should be used to minimize pain associated with treatment.
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