The authors of this paper have conducted a systematic review of the treatment of intense pulsed light (IPL) to treat a number of dermatological conditions. By reviewing existing literature, they intended to establish evidence to support physicians so IPL could be recommended as an appropriate method of treatment. Data was extracted from 127 articles and graded according to the level of evidence to support it. The primary outcome from this information was the outcome that was the clinical improvement achieved in the skin lesions. The evidence was then assessed according to the Oxford Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine Levels of Evidence. The findings have highlighted that this treatment can be used as a standalone treatment or with photodynamic therapy to activate the process. As a standalone treatment there is good evidence to support the use of this treatment for telangiectasia, rosacea and acne and growing evidence for pigmentation. The adverse events that have been reported in the systematic review are common side effects that are usually caused through inappropriate settings and the experience of the practitioner performing the treatment and they usually resolve within 24-48 hours post treatment. Generally IPL is a safe and effective device and is a useful tool for a variety of conditions and should perhaps be considered in some cases as a treatment of choice. The limitations of this review have meant that successes / recommendations have been restricted to those studies that have been published, as acknowledged by the author. It highlights the need within the medical aesthetics industry that further research and development is required or that results need to be published to support the use of this treatment for a growing range of dermatological conditions as it appears there is huge potential still for IPL technology.

Application of intense pulsed light in the treatment of dermatologic disease: a systematic review.
Wat H, Wu DC, Rao J, Goldman MP.
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Victoria Whiteley

BSc (Hons), ITEC, VTCT, Aesthetic Phlebology Practitioner, Director of The Whiteley Clinic.

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