Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Lasers, Light-Based Treatments Help Manage Acne

J Drugs Dermatol; 2017 Nov; Tong, Brauer

Light-based and laser treatments do, and will continue to, play an important and enlarging role in the management of acne, according to a recent literature review. Acne vulgaris is a common dermatologic condition with an estimated prevalence of 70 to 87%. Acne has been shown to have a significant impact on patient quality of life and mental health, especially as inflammatory lesions typically occur on cosmetically sensitive areas with the potential for permanent scarring. There have been numerous advances in the treatment of inflammatory acne with light-based and laser devices and researchers conducted an analysis of literature regarding management of inflammatory acne using these treatments. They found:

  • Laser and light-based treatment holds the advantages of improved patient compliance and safety profiles in comparison to pharmacologic therapy.
  • Efficacy of device based treatment varied in comparison to standard topical treatment regimens, often more effective when used in combination therapy.
  • Adverse effects reported were generally self-limited.


Tong LX, Brauer JA. Lasers, light, and the treatment of acne: A comprehensive review of the literature. J Drugs Dermatol. 2017;16(11):1095-1102.

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