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Laser for tattoo removal appears to improve facial acne scarring

A laser used to remove unwanted tattoos appears to improve , according to a study published online by .

Acne and subsequent scarring can have psychological effects. Lasers are used in the . The has approved the use of a 755-nm picosecond alexandrite laser, , a technology that delivers lower doses of energy theoretically leading to fewer adverse events, for the treatment of unwanted tattoos.

Jeremy A. Brauer, M.D., of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, and his co-authors describe the use of a picosecond 755-nm laser with an optical attachment called a diffractive lens array in the treatment of facial acne scarring in a small study.

The authors’ single-center study included 15 women and five men (average age 44 years old) with facial acne scarring. The patients received six treatments.

Results indicate patients were satisfied to extremely satisfied with improvement in the appearance and texture of their skin at the final treatment and at follow-up visits one and three months after the sixth treatment. Masked assessments of photographs by three dermatologists found a 25 percent to 50 percent global improvement at the one-month follow-up, which was maintained at the three-month follow-up.

“Additional studies with larger sample sizes, specific scar subtype stratification and histologic analyses are needed,” the authors note.


JAMA Dermatology. Published online November 17, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.3045

Authors made conflict of interest disclosures. This study was supported in part by Cynosure. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.