Summary in English
Acne, light and laser: Is there a role for photodynamic and laser therapy in the treatment of acne?
Background: Acne is a chronic disease of the pilosebaceous unit. Acne affects millions of people at some point in their life, often leaving permanent scars. Effective treatment is therefore very important. But acne is not always easy to treat, and many patients feel that present treatment regimens are unsatisfactory. Photodynamic therapy, laser and intense pulsed light have emerged as new treatment modalities.
Objective: To review, summarize and evaluate relevant studies and articles in order to assess the clinical efficacy and tolerablity of photodynamic therapy and other light-based therapies in the treatment of acne, as well as place them in perspective with current clinical practice.
Methods: Literature study based on a non-systematic search for clinical studies and review articles in Pubmed, Cochrane Library, Embase and Google, as well as textbooks in dermatology The following search-words were used: acne, PDT, ALA, laser dermatology, laser and light treatment, photodermatology and new treatments for acne.
Results: There are few clinical trials regarding photodynamic therapy and light-based therapies in acne, and published studies are of varying quality. Randomized controlled studies were included, whereas uncontrolled studies were excluded. Follow-up periods are approximately 4-12 weeks, and sample sizes vary between 10 and 100 in most studies. Lack of data on long-term effects and small numbers of participants in each study makes it difficult to assess the clinical efficacy. The clinical benefits are comparable to those of conventional therapies. The fact that photodynamic therapy and other light-based therapies are noninvasive, do not necessitate daily dosing, have brief treatment time and make it possible to treat active disease and scarring simultaneously is favourable. Multiple treatment sessions are usually required in order to achieve good results. Light-based therapies are still in the investigational phase.
Conclusion: Photodynamic therapy and other light-based therapies are safe modalities in the treatment of acne. Photodynamic therapy and laser can give new hope to patients who do not respond to or tolerate other treatments.