Some people whose hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) does not respond to medication may benefit from laser or light therapy.
What does it involve?
Laser or light therapy for HS can take several different forms.
Application of a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser – the same type commonly used for the removal of hair and spider veins – has been shown to significantly improve HS symptoms. Nd:YAG laser treatments may be administered on a monthly basis. Laser therapy is believed to work by destroying inflammatory lesions and hair follicles.
Intense pulsed light, which treats areas affected by HS with high-energy broad-spectrum light, is also used to remove hair and treat acne. Intense pulsed light may work by lowering inflammation, killing bacteria, and destroying hair follicles.
Sometimes a gel containing methylene blue is applied to affected areas before light therapy with 635 nanometer (red) light. Methylene blue is believed to make cells more sensitive to the light.
Laser or light therapy can improve HS symptoms and may help some people with HS achieve remission.
In one study, three monthly Nd:YAG laser treatments improved HS symptoms in the underarm, groin, and under the breasts by an average of 65 percent.
In one small study, 18 people with HS received intense pulsed light treatments on one side of their bodies. The treated areas showed significant improvement that lasted for 12 months.
In a study of seven people with HS, participants received either one or two sessions of treatment with methylene blue and 635 nm light. Six participants achieved remission of symptoms for one month. After six months, five participants had maintained remission.
Laser or light therapy may not be effective in treating your HS.
Laser or light therapy treatments may need to be repeated to sustain any results.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Randomized control trial for the treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa with a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet laser. – Dermatological Surgery
Treatment of hidradenitis suppurativa with intense pulsed light: a prospective study. – Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Photodynamic therapy with intralesional methylene blue and a 635 nm light-emitting diode lamp in hidradenitis suppurativa: a retrospective follow-up study in 7 patients and a review of the literature. – Photochemical & photobiological sciences
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