Since the development of the drug, Isotretinoin, over 10 years ago there had been little worthwhile research into new treatments of acne.
However, during the use of the NLite for treatment on pitted acne scarring in 2000, a number of the clinics on this site reported that clients were showing an improvement in their acne condition.
From these anecdotal observations a clinical trial was piloted beginning in November 2001 by Dr. Tony Chu, Consultant Dermatologist at the Imperial College, London and Dr. E. Seaton.
The main patient group were in the mild to moderate acne spectrum (mainly Leeds grade 2-3) with 41 patients taking part who were a mixture of self referrals and referred by physicians. They ranged in age from 18 to 45.
The trial involved a placebo controlled double blind study where 31 patients received active laser treatment to their whole face and 10 patients had sham laser irradiation or non-treatment to their whole face. The observer never gave the laser treatment and was unaware of the treatment status. The active treatment was further divided into giving one half of the face a treatment at an energy level of 1.5Joules/cm2 and the other half of the face received it at 3 Joules/cm2.
Prior to treatment an assessment was carried out to exclude anyone who:
- was pregnant or breast feeding
- had nodulocystic lesions
- had received Isotretinoin within the past 12 months
- had taken oral anti-acne medication/antimicrobials within the previous 4 weeks
- had used topical anti-acne medication within 1 week
- used cyproterone acetate containing contraception within the past 3 months.
The treatment was performed at week 0 with follow up visits at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks.
At the follow up visits several checks were made. These included 3 photographs each time, a spot count, any side effects, assessment using Leeds grading system and review of the patient diary.
Outcome after 12 weeks
The outcome was a reduction of the Leeds grading system by 1 or 2 points and a reduction of the number of inflammatory lesions by 50% at the end of the study.
There were no serious events:
2 patients reported a slight dryness of their skin
1 patient reported pain at the higher energy level
1 patient reported a temporary darkening of the skin at the higher energy level
The use of Nlite is an effective treatment in acne vulgaris and causes a reduction of the Leeds grade and a reduction of inflammatory lesions.