Photodynamic therapy using chlorophyll-a in the treatment of acne vulgaris: a randomized, single-blind, split-face study.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Oct ;71(4):764-71. Epub 2014 Jun 12. PMID: 24930587
Byong Han Song
BACKGROUND: Chlorophyll-a is a novel photosensitizer recently tested for the treatment of acne vulgaris.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of chlorophyll-a photodynamic therapy used for acne treatment.
METHODS: Subjects with acne on both sides of the face were included. Eight treatment sessions were performed over a 4-week duration. Half of the face was irradiated using a blue and red light-emitting diode after topical application of chlorophyll-lipoid complex. The other half underwent only light-emitting diode phototherapy. The lesion counts and acne severity were assessed by a blinded examiner. Sebum secretion, safety, and histologic changes were also evaluated.
RESULTS: In total, 24 subjects completed the study. Facial acne improved on both treated sides. On the chlorophyll-a photodynamic therapy-treated side, there were significant reductions in acne lesion counts, acne severity grades, and sebum levels compared with the side treated with light-emitting diode phototherapy alone. The side effects were tolerable in all the cases.
LIMITATIONS: All the subjects were of Asian descent with darker skin types, which may limit the generalizability of the study. A chlorophyll-a arm alone is absent, as is a no-treatment arm.
CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that chlorophyll-a photodynamic therapy for the treatment of acne vulgaris can be effective and safe with minimal side effects.