Photopneumatic Technology for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris

February 2008 | Volume 7 | Issue 2 | Original Article | 139 | Copyright © February 2008

Ava T. Shamban MD, Mikiko Enokibori MD, Vic Narurkar MD, Donna Wilson RN

Objective: Treatment of acne vulgaris with light sources necessitates multiple targets including Propionibacterium acnes and sebaceous glands. Traditional light sources such as blue light capitalize on P acnes bacteria as targets while infrared lasers and radiofrequency devices target the sebaceous gland. A novel device combining vacuum and a unique broadband light source was designed to combine multiple targets for the effective treatment of acne. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of a novel device that uses a combination of broadband light and pneumatic energy for the treatment of acne vulgaris.

Methods: In a retrospective multicenter study, clinical data were collected from 56 patients with mild to severe acne. Patients had been treated 2 to 4 times with a portable photopneumatic device (Aesthera PPx, Aesthera Corporation, Pleasanton, CA) that delivers broadband light (400 to 1200 nm) to the treatment site via a hand piece. For 11 of the 56 photographs taken before and after PPx treatment.

Results: For the 56 patients, the median physician-rated clearance increased from 50% after a single treatment to 90% after the fourth treatment, whereas the median patient-rated clearance improved form 50% after a single treatment to 78% after the fourth treatment. On a 4-point scale, both physician-rated and patient-rated median overall satisfaction levels increased from a 3 after a single treatment, to 4 after the second, third, and fourth treatments. Clinically significant adverse events were not observed. For the 11 patients evaluated by photography, the median papule and pustule lesion counts decreased from 2 to 0, respectively. Median acne severity (Burton scale) decreased from 2 before treatment to 1 after the final treatment (scale 1-4). Adverse events were limited to mild erythema.

Conclusion: Photopneumatic technology provides a safe and effective treatment of mild to sever acne vulgaris.