Acne Treatment with IPL

There are many methods for the treatment of acne vulgaris a.k.a. pimples with varying degrees of success depending on the severity of the condition and other factors such as skin type and health regimen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is the most widespread disease of the skin in the US, which makes it a profitable area of research. One of the more advanced therapeutic methods to treat the condition makes use of intense pulsed light (IPL).

In mild cases, over-the-counter topical medications can be efficacious in clearing up acne vulgaris when it flares up, but even then there are no permanent solutions. As long as the patient produces excess oil and continues to have difficulty in shedding dead skin where the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria thrive, the condition is likely to recur.

The same can be said with acne treatment using IPL. The main reason IPL may be considered is when topical treatment modalities have been unsuccessful in managing an acne attack, usually moderate to severe cases. IPL uses pulses of broad spectrum light to kill the bacteria that cause acne, and in some cases restrict the production of facial oil by reducing the size of sebaceous (oil-producing) glands in the face.

IPL treatment for acne has been found to be generally safe in studies, resulting in significant reduction in acne flare ups and improving skin tone in certain cases. Complaints about the adverse effects of IPL for acne treatment may have been because it was administered by an untrained or unqualified operator or it should not have been administered at all. It is not suitable in all cases; a qualified medical professional will evaluate each patient to determine if IPL is a suitable treatment modality.

It is also important to note that IPL is not a miracle cure. Significant improvement may only be apparent after several treatments, and some cases may need to use antibiotics in conjunction with the IPL for best results. When administered properly, IPL can provide relief from acne for at least 6 months with good skin regimen.