Long-term improvement of acne can be achieved using laser treatment, according to a new study.
Researchers found that treatment with Smoothbeam laser treatment resulted in a 75 per cent reduction in the number of acne lesions in all 20 participants by the end of the course.
The patients, who all received three laser treatments at four-week intervals, also found that their acne scarring had improved by 26 to 50 per cent.
Dr Paul Friedman, clinical assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical School, described the treatment as "a major advance" in the treatment of acne.
"The response from patients who've tried numerous other treatments with limited results and found real success in the Smoothbeam treatment is exciting," he said.
Nearly four in five people are affected by acne, which is the most commonly diagnosed skin disorder in western nations and indeed throughout much of the world.
Laser treatment has previously been shown to effectively treat overactive, oil-producing sebaceous glands, which are the root cause of acne.
"While the Smoothbeam laser is known to effectively treat acne, this study is the first that demonstrates the long-term clearing of acne with laser treatment in patients of all skin types," said lead investigator, Dr Ming H Jih.
"In addition to the safety and uniform clinical efficacy of the laser treatment, the added benefits for acne scarring and reduction in skin oiliness make this an ideal treatment for all patients with acne, especially those who did not respond to other treatments," he added.