Blue-Light Therapy for Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Anna Mae Scott, Paulina Stehlik, Justin Clark, Dexing Zhang, Zuyao Yang, Tammy Hoffmann, Chris Del Mar, Paul Glasziou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

PURPOSE: Antibiotic use in acne treatment raises concerns about increased resistance, necessitating alternatives. We assessed the effectiveness of blue-light therapy for acne.

METHODS: We analyzed randomized controlled trials comparing blue light with nonlight interventions. Studies included people of any age, sex, and acne severity, in any setting, and reported on investigator-assessed change in acne severity, patients' assessment of improvement, change in inflammatory or noninflammatory lesions, and adverse events. Where data were sufficient, mean differences were calculated.

RESULTS: Eighteen references (14 trials) including 698 participants were included. Most of the trials were small and short (<12 weeks) and had high risk of bias. Investigator-assessed improvement was quantitatively reported in 5 trials, of which 3 reported significantly greater improvement in blue light than comparator, and 2 reported improvement. Patients' assessments of improvement were quantitatively reported by 2 trials, favoring blue light. Mean difference in the mean number of noninflammatory lesions was nonsignificant between groups at weeks 4, 8, and 10-12 and overall (mean difference [MD] = 3.47; 95% CI, -0.76 to 7.71; P = 0.11). Mean difference in the mean number of inflammatory lesions was likewise nonsignificant between groups at any of the time points and overall (MD = 0.16; 95% CI, -0.99 to 1.31; P = 0.78). Adverse events were generally mild and favored blue light or did not significantly differ between groups.

CONCLUSION: Methodological and reporting limitations of existing evidence limit conclusions about the effectiveness of blue light for acne. Clinicians and patients should therefore consider the balance between its benefits and adverse events, as well as costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-553
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Family Medicine
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

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Phototherapy
Acne Vulgaris
Meta-Analysis
Light
Research Personnel
Randomized Controlled Trials
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Costs and Cost Analysis

Cite this

@article{74105a5cbfff49e0b02046b4be0679df,
title = "Blue-Light Therapy for Acne Vulgaris: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis",
abstract = "PURPOSE: Antibiotic use in acne treatment raises concerns about increased resistance, necessitating alternatives. We assessed the effectiveness of blue-light therapy for acne.METHODS: We analyzed randomized controlled trials comparing blue light with nonlight interventions. Studies included people of any age, sex, and acne severity, in any setting, and reported on investigator-assessed change in acne severity, patients' assessment of improvement, change in inflammatory or noninflammatory lesions, and adverse events. Where data were sufficient, mean differences were calculated.RESULTS: Eighteen references (14 trials) including 698 participants were included. Most of the trials were small and short (<12 weeks) and had high risk of bias. Investigator-assessed improvement was quantitatively reported in 5 trials, of which 3 reported significantly greater improvement in blue light than comparator, and 2 reported improvement. Patients' assessments of improvement were quantitatively reported by 2 trials, favoring blue light. Mean difference in the mean number of noninflammatory lesions was nonsignificant between groups at weeks 4, 8, and 10-12 and overall (mean difference [MD] = 3.47; 95{\%} CI, -0.76 to 7.71; P = 0.11). Mean difference in the mean number of inflammatory lesions was likewise nonsignificant between groups at any of the time points and overall (MD = 0.16; 95{\%} CI, -0.99 to 1.31; P = 0.78). Adverse events were generally mild and favored blue light or did not significantly differ between groups.CONCLUSION: Methodological and reporting limitations of existing evidence limit conclusions about the effectiveness of blue light for acne. Clinicians and patients should therefore consider the balance between its benefits and adverse events, as well as costs.",
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Blue-Light Therapy for Acne Vulgaris : A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. / Scott, Anna Mae; Stehlik, Paulina; Clark, Justin; Zhang, Dexing; Yang, Zuyao; Hoffmann, Tammy; Mar, Chris Del; Glasziou, Paul.

In: Annals of Family Medicine, Vol. 17, No. 6, 11.2019, p. 545-553.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - Blue-Light Therapy for Acne Vulgaris

T2 - A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

AU - Scott, Anna Mae

AU - Stehlik, Paulina

AU - Clark, Justin

AU - Zhang, Dexing

AU - Yang, Zuyao

AU - Hoffmann, Tammy

AU - Mar, Chris Del

AU - Glasziou, Paul

N1 - © 2019 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.

PY - 2019/11

Y1 - 2019/11

N2 - PURPOSE: Antibiotic use in acne treatment raises concerns about increased resistance, necessitating alternatives. We assessed the effectiveness of blue-light therapy for acne.METHODS: We analyzed randomized controlled trials comparing blue light with nonlight interventions. Studies included people of any age, sex, and acne severity, in any setting, and reported on investigator-assessed change in acne severity, patients' assessment of improvement, change in inflammatory or noninflammatory lesions, and adverse events. Where data were sufficient, mean differences were calculated.RESULTS: Eighteen references (14 trials) including 698 participants were included. Most of the trials were small and short (<12 weeks) and had high risk of bias. Investigator-assessed improvement was quantitatively reported in 5 trials, of which 3 reported significantly greater improvement in blue light than comparator, and 2 reported improvement. Patients' assessments of improvement were quantitatively reported by 2 trials, favoring blue light. Mean difference in the mean number of noninflammatory lesions was nonsignificant between groups at weeks 4, 8, and 10-12 and overall (mean difference [MD] = 3.47; 95% CI, -0.76 to 7.71; P = 0.11). Mean difference in the mean number of inflammatory lesions was likewise nonsignificant between groups at any of the time points and overall (MD = 0.16; 95% CI, -0.99 to 1.31; P = 0.78). Adverse events were generally mild and favored blue light or did not significantly differ between groups.CONCLUSION: Methodological and reporting limitations of existing evidence limit conclusions about the effectiveness of blue light for acne. Clinicians and patients should therefore consider the balance between its benefits and adverse events, as well as costs.

AB - PURPOSE: Antibiotic use in acne treatment raises concerns about increased resistance, necessitating alternatives. We assessed the effectiveness of blue-light therapy for acne.METHODS: We analyzed randomized controlled trials comparing blue light with nonlight interventions. Studies included people of any age, sex, and acne severity, in any setting, and reported on investigator-assessed change in acne severity, patients' assessment of improvement, change in inflammatory or noninflammatory lesions, and adverse events. Where data were sufficient, mean differences were calculated.RESULTS: Eighteen references (14 trials) including 698 participants were included. Most of the trials were small and short (<12 weeks) and had high risk of bias. Investigator-assessed improvement was quantitatively reported in 5 trials, of which 3 reported significantly greater improvement in blue light than comparator, and 2 reported improvement. Patients' assessments of improvement were quantitatively reported by 2 trials, favoring blue light. Mean difference in the mean number of noninflammatory lesions was nonsignificant between groups at weeks 4, 8, and 10-12 and overall (mean difference [MD] = 3.47; 95% CI, -0.76 to 7.71; P = 0.11). Mean difference in the mean number of inflammatory lesions was likewise nonsignificant between groups at any of the time points and overall (MD = 0.16; 95% CI, -0.99 to 1.31; P = 0.78). Adverse events were generally mild and favored blue light or did not significantly differ between groups.CONCLUSION: Methodological and reporting limitations of existing evidence limit conclusions about the effectiveness of blue light for acne. Clinicians and patients should therefore consider the balance between its benefits and adverse events, as well as costs.

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U2 - 10.1370/afm.2445

DO - 10.1370/afm.2445

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 545

EP - 553

JO - Annals of Family Medicine

JF - Annals of Family Medicine

SN - 1544-1709

IS - 6

ER -