Effects of a 1,450 nm diode laser on facial sebum excretion.Lasers Surg Med. 2009 Feb; 41(2):110-5.LS
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE
Laser therapy with a 1,450 nm diode laser is a clinically effective treatment for acne vulgaris, although the mechanism of action is unknown. To investigate this, we conducted a small, prospective, controlled clinical trial to assess this laser's effects on the facial sebum excretion rate (SER).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Fourteen healthy volunteers without active acne were enrolled in this study and received three laser treatments on test areas of the nose and forehead. Nine subjects completed the treatment regimen and were available for follow-up. SER was measured with Sebumeter prior to the first treatment, and at 1 week and 1 month after the third treatment. Photographs were taken and subjective assessment of skin oiliness and pore size determined by questionnaires at 1 month follow-up.
No significant reduction in SER was observed comparing treated with control on all treatment sites (P>0.05) on the nose. Reduction in the absolute SER was observed for both test and control sites on the forehead, reaching significance on the treatment site (P = 0.04) and marginal significance on the control site (P = 0.08).
While our study was designed to detect only large changes in SER, we conclude that three 1,450 nm laser treatment sessions did not cause marked changes in SER compared to the control (i.e., >44%). Thus, major destruction of sebaceous glands as a result of this treatment is unlikely. However, reduced sebum production was observed on both treatment and control sides at 1 month. Therefore alternative mechanisms should also be considered to explain the clinical efficacy of this treatment for acne vulgaris.