Patient Satisfaction and Reported Long-Term Therapeutic Efficacy Associated with 1,320 nm Nd:YAG Laser Treatment of Acne Scarring and Photoaging

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE Nonablative laser treatments have become increasingly used for the treatment of acne scarring and photoaging. While nonablative laser treatments are more convenient and relatively safer than ablative laser resurfacing, efficacy and patient satisfaction with the level of improvement of textural abnormalities in acne scarring and rhytids associated with photoaging needs further study.
DESIGN/MATERIALS AND METHODS Structured interviews were performed with 34 patients from a referral-based academic practice who each previously received a series of 6 monthly treatments with a 1,320 nm neodymium:yttrium–aluminum–garnet (Nd:YAG) laser for treatment of acne scarring or photoaging. Topical anesthesia was applied 1 hour before each treatment. Patients were interviewed at least 3 months after cessation of treatment (range 3–12 months).
RESULTS Patients tolerated the treatments well. Combined results for acne scarring and photoaging patients were as follows: (a) patient satisfaction with treatment was rated at 62%, and (b) textural improvement was reported at 31% at the end of the six treatments, and 30% at the date of interview. When results were stratified by diagnosis, patient satisfaction was slightly higher for treatment of acne scarring than for photoaging. Overall degree of improvement on a 1–10 scale was 5.4 for acne scarring and 3.8 for wrinkling.
CONCLUSION Nonablative treatment with the 1,320 nm Nd:YAG laser induced significant patient-reported improvement in both acne scarring and photoaging. The majority of patients reported satisfaction with the degree of improvement.