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Nonablative Phototherapy for Acne Vulgaris Using the KTP 532 nm Laser


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: William P. Baugh, MD, 301 W. Bastanchury Road, Suite 220, Fullerton, CA 92835, or e-mail:


Background. Acne vulgaris is an acute inflammatory disease of the pilosebaceous units. The bastion of treatment for acne vulgaris has been the use of topical and systemic therapies. Despite many modalities available for treatment, there exists an imperative need for effective noninvasive treatments that reduce the risks of medication side effects.

Objective. To study the safety and efficacy of the potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) 532 nm pulsed laser for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Methods. Twenty-six subjects, clinically evaluated with moderate facial acne, were enrolled in this single-center prospective trial. The entire facial area for each subject was divided in half and randomly designated as either a treatment or a control side. Each subject was treated with four laser exposures using a KTP 532 nm laser with continuous contact cooling. The results were assessed at 1 and 4 weeks post–final treatment. Primary outcome measures were Michaëlsson acne severity score and adverse treatment effects. Secondary outcome measures included subjective evaluations from the investigator and patients assessing their overall percent satisfaction.

Results. Primary outcome analysis in the Michaëlsson acne severity score demonstrated a mean 34.9% (p = .011) and 20.7% (p = .25) reduction at the 1-week and 4-week post–final treatments, respectively. Subjective investigator evaluations of overall percent satisfaction indicated that all patients demonstrated a minimum 50% overall satisfaction in treatment outcomes at the 4-week follow-up period. No side effects were encountered.

Conclusion. Use of the KTP 532 nm laser for the treatment and management of acne vulgaris is both safe and effective, with positive results enduring up to 4 weeks post-treatment.