Content » Vol 89, Issue 4

Investigative Report

Single Low-dose Red Light is as Efficacious as Methyl-aminolevulinate-photodynamic Therapy for Treatment of Acne: Clinical Assessment and Fluorescence Monitoring

Camilla Hörfelt, Bo Stenquist, Christina B. Halldin, Marica B. Ericson, and Ann-Marie Wennberg
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-0667


This controlled study investigated single low-dose red light photodynamic therapy and methyl-aminolevulinate (MAL) for treatment of moderate to severe facial acne in 19 patients. The right cheek was treated with MAL (160 mg/g) for 3 h prior to illumination. The left cheek received red light only. Both cheeks were illuminated with narrow-band red light (635 nm) at a light dose of 15 J/cm2. The global severity of acne was assessed at baseline and at follow-up, 10 and 20 weeks after treatment. Fluorescence images, clinical photographs and skin surface biopsies were obtained. Both MAL-photodynamic therapy and control areas showed a significant decrease in acne score at follow-up; no significant difference was found compared with control. MAL-photodynamic
therapy was associated with adverse effects such as ery­thema and stinging. Fluorescence images revealed poor selectivity of MAL-induced fluorescence to the acne lesions, suggesting a general photoablating mechanism rather than selective destruction of sebaceous glands. No significant reduction in Propionibacterium acnes or sebum excretion was found.


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