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Non-invasive diagnostic evaluation of phototherapeutic effects of red light phototherapy of acne vulgaris

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During the past few years, various phototherapeutic protocols with full-spectrum visible light or selected wavebands have been investigated in the treatment of acne vulgaris with variable results. Methods:

Fifteen women suffering from moderate acne vulgaris of the face were exposed to 20 J/cm2 of broad-band red (: 600–750 nm) light twice weekly for 4 weeks. In addition, with the aim to improve the present knowledge of the mechanisms of action of phototherapy, we measured skin sebum, pH, hydration and trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). Lesions of the trunk were not irradiated and served as controls. Results:

A significant improvement of acne lesions and a significant decrease of skin sebum excretion and TEWL of the face were registered at the end of the therapy and at the 3-month follow-up visit. The results could be related to a reduced follicular colonization of Propionibacterium acnes, in that it was lethally damaged by photoactivated endogenous porphyrins. Conclusion:

The present findings seem to indicate that red light phototherapy may represent an effective, well-tolerated, safe, simple and inexpensive treatment option for moderate acne vulgaris.

Keywords: Propionibacterium acnes; acne vulgaris; non-invasive diagnostic techniques; phototherapy; visible light

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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