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What is KTP laser treatment?


KTP lasers are commonly used for minimally invasive ablation and coagulation treatments, such as minor prostate surgery. In this technique, a small catheter is inserted into the treatment site and powerful bursts of KTP laser are used to vaporize the target tissue. KTP lasers have also been used to treat rosacea, spider veins, hyper-pigmented spots and acne, although it is an uncommon acne treatment. These applications generally use a lower power KTP laser that is non-ablative or partially ablative.


How does KTP laser treatment work?


KTP Lasers Have a Green Light Beam

KTP lasers are actually modified Nd:YAG lasers that produce a green light, with a wavelength of 532 nm. In a KTP laser, an Nd:YAG laser (infra-red) is used to illuminate a crystal of potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP), to generate another laser (green). The 532 nm light produced by the KTP laser is readily absorbed by melanin and oxyhemoglobin, which allows efficient targeting of pigmented lesions and spider veins. In acne therapy, a low power KTP laser can theoretically be used to activate the bacterial porphyrins of Propionibacterium acnes, the causative bacteria of acne. Activation of the bacterial porphyrin releases free radical molecules, which can kill the bacteria. The mechanism is the same as that used in blue light phototherapy. Although green light is less effective at activating the porphyrins then blue light, it is able to penetrate more deeply into the skin tissue.


Are KTP lasers an effective treatment for acne?


KTP lasers are not a commonly used weapon in the 

arsenal of laser acne treatments. Because blue light

therapy theoretically produces the same benefit, but

with less risk and at a lower cost, KTP lasers are not

used to treat acne by most dermatologists. That said,

there is some limited research that indicates that KTP

lasers are moderately effective at improving acne

symptoms, with results similar to blue light therapy.

The published research indicates that KTP laser

treatment does lead to a moderate decrease in the

number and severity of acne lesions. In addition, KTP

lasers also apparently lead to a moderate decrease in

the sebum production in treated areas, although the mechanism is not understood and those results need to be independently validated.


How and where is KTP Laser treatment administered?


It is administered by our cosmetic nurse or Acne Specialists at our main Boston Acne Specialists clinic.


How much does KTP Laser treatment cost?


Costs vary widely depending on the type of treatment. For skin based treatments, the cost of KTP laser treatment is similar to other laser based treatments. For facial applications, KTP laser treatment can easily exceed $500 per session. The number of sessions is generally limited to less than three.


How does the KTP laser treat acne scars?


The KTP laser targets the hemoglobin (red) areas on the skin. The energy of the KTP laser causes the blood vessels just below the skin’s surface to collapse. The collapsing of the blood vessels decreases the “red” appearance of the acne scars left behind after acne clears.


What will happen during my visit?


For treatment of ‘red’ acne scarring with the KTP laser, gel will first be applied over the treatment area. No topical anesthetic is necessary prior to treatment with the KTP laser. The treatment itself takes just a few minutes; it is not painful and there is no downtime after the procedure. Some patients have minimal redness around the treated areas for a few hours after their treatment. There is no bruising after treatment with the KTP laser. You may apply makeup immediately after the KTP treatment if you would like. Patients may immediately return to work or social obligations.


How many treatments are needed to treat acne scars?


One to three treatments with the KTP laser are generally

needed to effectively treatment post-inflammatory

erythema (the red mark left behind after acne.) Some

patients experience a significant improvement in acne

scarring and pigmentation after only one treatment and

do not end up needing multiple treatments. Other patients

require multipletreatments to improve their acne scarring

and pigmentation.




What is the cost of the KTP laser treatment for acne scarring?


The KTP laser treatment for acne scarring costs between $275 and $400 per treatment, depending on the extent of the scarring. During your initial consultation, we will review the treatment further and determine the exact per treatment cost for you.


KTP LASER for Acne Scars


The KTP laser is used to treat many causes of redness on the face, including blood vessels, rosacea and post-inflammatory erythema (the redness left behind after acne.) KTP is an abbreviation for potassium titanyl-phosphate, though the laser is commonly called the KTP laser. The KTP laser can give significant improvement of red acne scars are only one to three treatments. It is not painful and there is no

downtime after the treatments. Some improvement is seen very soon after the treatment and some improvement is seen in the weeks after the treatment. The Fraxel Dual 1550 nm laser and the Fraxel

Re:pair Fractional CO2 laser are the most effective treatments for atrophic (“pitted”) acne scarring, and the Fraxel Dual 1927 nm and the KTP laser are the most effective treatment for brown and black hyperpigmentation as well as pure erythematous and purpuric scarring (the red  and purplish marks left behind after acne clears.)



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