The use of cooling vacuum-assisted, nonablative, nonfractional, 1540-nm Erbium:Glass laser therapy is a safe and effective modality for the simultaneous treatment of acne scars and acne lesions, according to the results of a study conducted in Israel and published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.
A total of 22 patients (14 women, 8 men) with mild to moderate acne and moderate to severe acne scars were enrolled in the study. All patients received treatment with a cooling vacuum-assisted 1540-nm laser. The participants’ acne lesions and scars were exposed to 3 to 4 stacked pulses that were emitted at a rate of 3 Hz for ≤2 passes per treatment session (spot size, 4 mm; fluence, 400-600 mJ/pulse), for a total of 3 to 7 treatments with 2- to 3-week intervals between treatments.
All patients were followed up at 1 and 3 months after their last treatments. Clinical assessment included overall aesthetic appearance, acne lesions, and acne scars, which were evaluated independently by 2 dermatologists and graded on a scale of 0 (exacerbation), 1 (1%-25% improvement), 2 (26%-50% improvement), 3 (51%-75% improvement), and 4 (76%-100% improvement), along with pain perception, adverse effects, and patient satisfaction.
Pain perception and adverse effects were estimated by the dermatologists with use of a 0 to 3 grading scale (0=none, 1=mild, 2=moderate, and 3=severe). Patient satisfaction, which was assessed at each treatment visit and at 1 and 3 months after the final follow-up visit, was graded on a scale of 1 to 5 (1=not satisfied and 5=very satisfied).
Of the 22 participants, all but 1 completed the treatment and follow-up. These 21 participants reported moderate to significant improvement in all outcomes, as follows: overall aesthetic appearance, mean 3.9 (1-mo) and 3.75 (3-mo) improvement; acne lesions, mean 3.5 (1-mo) and 2.3 (3-mo) improvement; and scarring, mean 4 (1-mo) and 4.2 (3-mo) improvement. Adverse effects and pain were mild and transient in nature. Participants’ mean satisfaction was 4.2±0.8.
The investigators concluded that additional studies with a larger number of patients and longer follow-up periods are warranted to determine the long-term efficacy of this treatment modality. Moreover, studies to examine the use of combination therapies (ie, systemic and locally administered) would be valuable.
Politi Y, Levi A, Snast I, Ad-El D, Lapidoth M. Integrated cooling-vacuum-assisted non-fractional 1540-nm Erbium:Glass laser: a new modality for the simultaneous effective treatment of acne lesions and scars. J Drugs Dermatol. 2018;17(11):1173-1176.