Researchers are launching a trial to find out whether a special kind of laser treatment could be used to improve acne scars in patients with a dark complexion.
Dark skin is notoriously hard to treat as acne scar treatment normally involves removing the surface of the skin with powerful lasers or chemical peels and nearly all patients develop skin discoloration.
The new 'non-ablative' lasers bypass the skin's surface and stimulate collagen growth deep within the tissue, making the skin smoother and posing fewer risks.
Dr Natalie Semchyshyn, assistant professor of dermatology at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, commented: "This is breaking new ground in that there's been very little research published in this area.
"Most of the studies involving non-ablative lasers for acne scarring have been done on patients with lighter skin - yet an increasing proportion of the population…has darker skin tones."
If the 18-month trial achieves positive results, it could herald a new form of non-surgical cosmetic treatment for acne sufferers.