What is the role of intense pulsed light (IPL) in the treatment of keloids and hypertrophic scars?

Updated: May 29, 2020
  • Author: Brian Berman, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Bellew et al obtained equal effectiveness improving the appearance of hypertrophic surgical scars with IPL compared with 595-nm long-pulsed PDL. [98] IPL minimized the risk of developing postlaser purpura, frequently seen in patients treated with long-pulsed PDL.

Cartier reported that IPL was effective in treating and improving inflamed hypertrophic scars in 3 patients. [113]

Other studies have suggested that IPL is effective for improving the appearance of hypertrophic scars and keloids, regardless of their origin, and in reducing the height, redness, and hardness of scars. Erol et al evaluated hypertrophic scars in 109 patients (including keloids) after treatment using an IPL (Quantum) device, administered at 2- to 4-week intervals, with patients receiving an average of 8 treatments. [114] Overall clinical improvement was seen in the appearance of scars, and reductions in height, erythema, and hardness were seen in the majority of the patients (92.5%). Improvement was excellent in 31.2% of the patients, good in 25.7%, moderate in 34%, and minimal in 9.1%. Patient satisfaction was very high.

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