Intense Pulsed Light: A Methodical Approach to Understanding Clinical Endpoints
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a non-coherent polychromatic broadband filtered flashlamp that emits light in the spectrum of approximately 400-1200 nm. Its effects on photorejuvenation are well documented. The goal of this study is to help practitioners better conceptualize and fine tune IPL device settings in order to produce the most effective and safest clinical outcome. Materials/Methods: This was a prospective study testing several filters (515 nm; 560 nm; 590 nm and 530-650; 900-1200 nm
... cular filter), fluences, pulse durations, and pulse numbers (ie, multiple sequence pulsing or MSP) with a new IPL system. Results: Post-procedure erythema response was more pronounced with increasing fluence, decreasing wavelength, fewer pulses and shorter pulse duration. The exception was the 515 nm filter with regard to pulse duration, which was observed to have a more pronounced response with longer pulse durations. The overall clinical outcome at the 4-week follow-up visit demonstrated greatest improvement in erythema and pigmentation using the 515 nm filter on a Fitzpatrick Skin Type III individual. Conclusion: Greatest clinical endpoint response at 4-week follow-up was observed with more robust initial responses. This was most apparent at higher fluence levels and fewer pulse counts. However, when the IPL is pushed to aggressive parameters, there is risk of hypopigmentation and hair loss as seen in this case study. Skin type is an important consideration when using IPL and MSP adds to its safety profile.