Comparison of Intense Pulsed Light to 595-nm Long-Pulsed Pulsed Dye Laser for Treatment of
July 2005 | Volume 4 | Issue 4 | Original Article | 448 | Copyright © July 2005
Hypertrophic Surgical Scars: A Pilot Study Supriya G. Bellew MD, Margaret A. Weiss MD, Robert A. Weiss MD
Background: The short-pulsed pulsed dye laser (PDL) has been previously reported to improve the appearance of
hypertrophic scars. Prolonged purpura following treatment led to the development of the newer long-pulsed pulsed
dye laser (LPDL). Intense pulsed light (IPL) has been extensively used to improve the various components of photodamage
and to reduce the incidence of purpura, but its effect on scars has not been analyzed. The objective of
this pilot study was to prospectively determine and compare the safety and efficacy of LPDL and IPL on surgically
Methods: Breast reduction scars (N = 10 scars) and abdominoplasty scars (N = 5 scars) were treated using both
LPDL and IPL. For breast reduction scars, one side was treated with each technique. For abdominoplasty scars, one
half of the scar was treated with each device. Two treatments were performed 2 months apart. Physician global
assessment scores of improvement were determined by side-by-side comparison of preoperative and randomly presented postoperative photographs. Patient pain scores during treatment were also obtained and the presence of post-treatment purpura was assessed.
Result: Mean improvement on a 0 to 3 oint scale was 2.2(55%) after the first LPDL treatment and 3.2 (80%) after the second. Mean improvement was 1.8(45%) after the first IPL treatment and 2.6(65%) after the second. Differnces in improvement between the LPDL and IPL sides were not statisdtically significant. Patients rated IPL. as more painful thatn LPDL. The incidence of post-treatment pupura was lower with IPL.
Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that LPDL and IPL are equally effective in improving the appearance of hypertrophic surgicak scars. IPL offers a movel method of treating scars that minimizes the risk of purpura.