Treatment of Acne Vulgaris Using Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy in an African-AmericanPatient
July 2009 | Volume 8 | Issue 7 | Case Reports | 669 | Copyright © July 2009
Shaundre Terrell BS, Daniel Aires MD, Eric S. Schweiger MD
Observations: This article describes a 26-year-old African American woman with moderate infl ammatory facial acne vulgaris. On examination, she had over 15 infl ammatory papules on her face and post-infl ammatory hyperpigmentation. The patient had a history of treatment failure with the following therapies: topical benzoyl peroxide, topical antibiotics, topical retinoids and oral antibiotics. At presentation, the patient was using a combination topical benzoyl peroxide/clindamycin product in the morning and tazoratene gel in the evening without success. The patient was treated with 20% aminolevulinic acid/blue-light photodynamic therapy spaced monthly for a total of four treatments, a once-daily application of hydroquinone 4% cream and her existing topical regimen. The patient reported signifi cant improvement of infl ammatory acne lesions and post-infl ammatory hyperpigmentation following two treatments with photodynamic therapy and was virtually clear of all acne lesions after the third treatment.
Conclusion: Photodynamic therapy is an emerging remedy for patients with acne vulgaris resistant to standard treatment, particularly in patients with skin of color who are more sensitive to post-infl ammatory hyperpigmentation. In this African-American patient, 20% aminolevulinic acid/blue-light photodynamic therapy was effective in treating facial acne vulgaris.