'Jury Out' on Using Special Laser for Acne

Despite Earlier Promise as a Low-Risk Treatment, NLite Laser May Be Ineffective

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Improvement Seen by Others

"The many clinics around the world that regularly use the NLite and other lasers for the treatment of inflammatory acne vulgaris would seem to disagree with this latest study," Trow tells WebMD. "The doctors and patients who use it tell us that it works."

Elizabeth K. Hale, MD, a laser surgeon and assistant professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine who was not involved in either study, agrees with Orringer that "the jury is still out" on using NLite as the "go-to" acne therapy.

"It's too early to determine if the laser will become standard treatment for acne," she tells WebMD. "But I have used it on several patients and have definitely seen some benefit -- especially in patients that have a type of acne that leaves red spots from previous lesions. Some of my patients who were completely unresponsive to standard treatments have responded very well to this laser."

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SOURCES: Orringer, J. Journal of the American Medical Association, June 16, 2004; vol 291: pp 2834-2839. Seaton, E. The Lancet, Oct. 25, 2003; vol 362: pp 1347-1352. Jeffrey S. Orringer, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology, University of Michigan School of Medicine; director, Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Mich. Robert Trow, PhD, president, USA Photonics, Nanuet, N.Y. Elizabeth K. Hale, MD, assistant professor, dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, New York City.
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