A combination of long-pulsed and Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers can successfully treat acne without the need for acne medications, according to study results published in Dermatologic Surgery.

The study included participants with moderate to severe inflammatory acne who were treated with long-pulsed YAG laser immediately followed by Q-switched YAG laser (n=20). Each participant received at least 8 treatments, and follow-up evaluation occurred after a minimum of 12 months. Participants discontinued all topical acne medications and oral antibiotics during the treatment and follow-up period.

After a mean 22.7 months of follow-up, participants showed an 81% reduction in acne lesions, with 60% of participants having 90% or greater reduction. At follow-up, blinded physicians graded overall appearances at 84% improvement.

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The only adverse effect reported was initial transient erythema.

“The potential to dramatically reduce the patient’s acne without the use of topical antiacne medications or oral antibiotics may be a strong incentive to recommend this therapeutic approach,” the researchers concluded.


Bakus AD, Yaghmai D, Massa MC, et al. Sustained benefit after treatment of acne vulgaris using only a novel combination of long-pulsed and Q-switched 1064-nm Nd:YAG lasers [published online June 5, 2018]. Dermatol Surg. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001565