BACKGROUND: Acne scarring has lifelong sequelae. Fractional photothermolysis (FP) has been shown to provide fast recovery from acne within a short period, thereby aiding skin rejuvenation. Isotretinoin is a well-known, effective drug for the treatment of severe recalcitrant acne. This study investigated the safety and the efficacy of infrared fractional laser treatment in conjunction with low-dose isotretinoin for the treatment of acne and acne scars.
MATERIALS: A 1550 nm Erbium-doped fiber laser was used to treat 35 patients with acne scarring. All the patients had taken isotretinoin (10 mg/day) for more than one month prior to the commencement of the fractional laser treatment.
RESULTS: There was no aggravation of acne scars, hypertrophic scars, or keloids. Most of the patients (33 patients) received reduced microthermal damage zone (MTZ) treatment. Eighty percent of the treated patients (28 patients) demonstrated more than a fair improvement. The total average score on the global acne scarring classification before treatment was 13.5, and the score after treatment was 11.2.
CONCLUSION: Acne and acne scars can be treated more effectively by concomitant use of an infrared fractional laser with low-dose isotretinoin with reduced MTZ densities. Most patients showed more than a fair improvement, and there was no aggravation of the scars.
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