Physicians love a long tite: Intense pulsed light technology and its improvement on skin aging from the patients perspective using photorejuvenation parameters.
Daniel Laury, MD - Read the entire study here.
From the study:Importantly, all patients showed improvement based on their calculation of perceived age. That indicates that there was no perceived worsening of aging signs and no perceived regression of improvements over the study period. Though using subjective data, bias in computing the improvements noted in this population is part of the endpoint.
Other studies have evaluated the outcomes after IPL treatments. Negishi et al. found a combined (physician and patient subjective improvement evaluation) 60% improvement in their evaluation parameters in more than 80% of Asian patients undergoing a similar five or more IPL treatments. In another study also involving an Asian population and also using a combined score, his team found a rating of "good" to "excellent" in 90% for pigmentation, 83% for telangiectasia and 65% for skin texture. Similarly, Kawada et al. found that 48% of patients had more than 50% of improvement and 20% had more than 75% improvement. Goldberg and Samady used a patient satisfaction score as well as including an evaluator assessment component in their study comparing intense pulsed light and Nd:YAG laser on facial rhytids. Several other authors have also demonstrated improvements. Histology studies with and without a monitoring of clinical impression have demonstrated changes in another fashion. However, histological information is difficult for patients to understand and often does not translate into clinically visible changes. Therefore, the specific answer to the question, "How much younger will this make me look?" is hard to answer from these other studies.
This preliminary study has a number of limitations some of which have been previously noted, e.g. small population size, subjective bias. Though the study was prospective, no placebo or blinds were in place. In addition, a larger study might take into consideration the operator differences in performing the procedures and the possible effect of the anesthetic gel. The Negishi studies bring into question the differences between results and ethic origin. The population in this study was exclusively Caucasian. Additional consideration may be given as to whether three weeks is the optimal interval for treatments and whether strict adherence is important. Another time interval may give different results. It would be interesting to identify if there is any regression over time as well. A repeat questionnaire at a later date would be instructive.
Generally the intense pulsed light technology is safe as evidenced by the literature and the author's personal experience, though it still has potential for malfeasance.
On average, patients considering IPL photorejuvenation therapy may be told that there is a 2 year perceived facial age improvement per visit. The informed consent process requires a discussion about the anticipated benefit to treatment. Incorporating the above information may be useful in counselling patients regarding this esthetic procedure.