A new study has found that adding a topical photoparticle gel before non-ablative laser treatments for back acne has resulted in a marked reduction in inflammatory acne on the back. This could prove an excellent way to help prevent acne scarring and the use of extensive acne scar treatments.
One of the biggest challenges in treating acne is that topical treatments aren’t very popular. They can be hard to apply, especially onto the back. Teenagers, in particular, are famous for not using their topical treatments or being able to remember to take pills every day.
Back acne and acne scar treatments
Back acne is particularly resistant to therapy, compared with acne on other areas of the body. It is also the worst place to on our bodies to attempt to apply any kind of cream, as anyone who has tried to put on their own back sunscreen can attest. Oral medication may also need to be taken at the same time for optimal results, which can have unpleasant side effects and be easily forgotten.
Acne scar treatments may then be required due to unchecked acne running rife on the back, requiring further treatments. Acne scar treatments add an extra level of discomfort and expense to an already resource-heavy skin condition.
The researchers wanted to devise an in-clinic procedure that could improve back acne without the need for strict compliance with medication every day or applying any creams to the back. They came up with the photoparticles that can enhance the effect of the laser treatment by causing what’s known as photothermal injury to the sebaceous gland follicles. This treatment meant no in-between treatments, just visits to the clinic to have regular treatments.
What is a photo particle?
A photoparticle is a small silver particle that increases the absorption of the laser beam. The photoparticle solution was applied using a special vibrating paddle to infuse the particles into the sebaceous glands and follicles. The particles are then massaged into the skin right before laser treatment, and any excess on the skin washed off.
What the study revealed
There were 10 study participants with back acne, six men and four women. The back was split up into two treatment areas, with one side of the back treated with the photoparticle and the other side not, and both sides treated with the laser.
Patients had four laser treatments at weekly intervals, then the back acne was examined over the next three months.
At the beginning of the study, prior to treatment, the total amount of acne lesions on the back was set at a baseline of 9.7, with inflammatory lesions at 7.4. At 12 weeks, both groups had seen a mean percentage reduction in total lesion count of -45.5 for the control group and -62.8 for the combined therapy group. High powered laser was used on six subjects, and these patients had greater improvements.
There were no adverse effects reported. The application of the photoparticles takes an extra 15 minutes in clinic time. Patients were told to expect some redness and swelling, with a loss of pigment in those areas temporarily, which is normal for this type of treatment.
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