Acne is one of the most common inflammatory skin diseases. Treatment of acne has been challenging due to the multiple factors involved in its pathogenesis. To date, there are several treatments available. They are traditional chemical peeling, laser-based therapy, and so on. Therefore, as several studies reached inconsistent conclusions on which treatment was better, this observational study aimed to compare the efficacy of monotherapy supramolecular salicylic acid (SSA) and the combination of SSA with intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment in acne patients.


43 patients with acne vulgaris were chosen at the outpatient department of dermatology from October 2019 until December 2020. Patients were divided into 2 groups: group 1, with a total of 23 patients who underwent SSA 30% combined with IPL, and group 2, which will do monotherapy with SSA 30%. Chemical peeling with SSA 30% treatment will be done every 2 weeks, while IPL treatment will be performed every 4 weeks for a treatment course of 8 weeks. Each individual had a VISIA skin examination and an investigator global assessment (IGA) of acne severity scores every four weeks to evaluate clinical improvement and treatment efficacy.


Patients in the SSA 30% + IPL group were mostly female, with comparable baseline VISIA skin scores. During 8-week intervals, the SSA 30%+IPL group presented with a greater improvement in overall skin condition measured by VISIA compared to the SSA 30% alone. Although both groups have a positive effect on skin condition improvement, when it comes to acne, gradual improvement in porphyrins and red areas was more obvious in the combined SSA 30%+IPL group compared to SSA 30% alone.


The combination of SSA 30% with IPL compared to SSA 30% alone not only provides better treatment for acne vulgaris but also improves skin rejuvenation.

Keywords: Acne vulgaris, Salicylic acid, Blue light therapy, Intense pulsed light, Chemical peeling, Acne treatment.
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