Efficacy and safety of intense pulsed light in vascular lesions

Bushra Bashir, Faria Altaf, Farah Saleem, Usma Iftikhar, Khawar Khurshid, Zahida Rani, Sabrina Suhail Pal


Background  Intense pulsed light (IPL) devices are non-laser high intensity light sources that make use of a high output flashlamp to produce a broad wavelength of noncoherent light. The working basis of IPL rests on the principles of selective photothermolysis which exploits the hemoglobin absorption peak among its range of wavelength and can be used for many vascular skin lesions. However, the response of vascular lesions to therapy are influenced by the type of light source used, clinical characteristics of the target lesion and patient specific factors (e.g. skin color).


Objective The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of intense pulsed light in vascular lesions in Asian skin types.


Study Design Quasi-experimental study.


Methods A total of thirty patients having different types of vascular lesions predominantly on face were treated repeatedly with IPL for 2 years. They were evaluated by clinical observations before and after the treatment sessions. The outcome was assessed by dividing the results into four categories: Poor improvement (<25% response), slight improvement (25-50% response), moderate improvement (50-75% response) and marked improvement (>75%).


Results Six patients showed excellent response (>75% improvement). Among them five patients had rosacea (erythematotelangiectatic type). Three patients achieved a moderate improvement. Ten patients had slight improvement. Eleven patients showed poor response, majority of them had haemangiomas. Only one patient had burning and crusting after two treatment sessions.


Conclusion IPL can be effective for vascular lesions depending upon the type of lesions in Asian skin type.


Intense pulsed light, vascular lesions, Asian skin type

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