A Retrospective Study on Efficacy of Pulsed Dye Laser and Intense Pulsed Light for the Treatment of Facial Telangiectasia

November 2017 | Volume 16 | Issue 11 | Original Article | 1112 | Copyright © November 2017

Lin Gao MD PhD,* Ni Gao MD,* Wenting Song MD, Erle Dang MD PhD, Rong Yin MD PhD, Li Wang MD, and Gang Wang MD PhD

Department of Dermatology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China *These authors contributed equally to the work.


Both pulsed dye laser (PDL) and intense pulsed light (IPL) systems have been demonstrated to be effective for treatment of facial telangiectasia, however there have been very few comparative studies between both treatments involving purely Asian patient populations. In this study, we performed a retrospective analysis to compare the efficacy of PDL and IPL systems for the treatment of facial telangiectasia. A total of 416 patients with facial telangiectasia who were treated by PDL or IPLs in our department from August 2012 to March 2015 were included in this study. The subjects received one of the following five treatments: PDL 595 nm (9-12 J/cm2), MaxG (500-670 nm & 870-1200 nm, 30-46 J/cm2), IPL (560-1200 nm, 18-24 J/cm2), M22 560 (560-1200 nm, 15-18 J/cm2), and M22 590 (590-1200 nm, 15-20 J/cm2). Each treatment had two sessions with 6-week intervals. The improvement percentage score in facial telangiectasia after the final treatment was evaluated by two non-treating physicians. We found almost all patients (less than 95.00%) had marked improvements or nearly complete clearance of the lesions after PDL 595 nm or MaxG treatment, as compared to 41.38%-56.58% patients in the other three groups that showed similar degrees of improvements. Both PDL 595 nm (9-12 J/cm2) and MaxG (500-670 nm & 870-1200 nm, 30-46 J/cm2) treatments resulted in significantly superior vessel clearance than the IPL systems with other wavelength bands (560-1200 nm or 590-1200 nm) and relatively lower fluence (15-24 J/cm2). Our results also suggested fluence levels account for the significant differences in the effectiveness delivered by different IPL systems. We concluded that PDL 595 nm and MaxG showed comparable clinical efficacy and both treatments resulted in most beneficial outcomes.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2017;16(11):1112-1116.


The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation and is arranged based on wavelength, from shortest to longest. The visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is defined as the portion of electromagnetic radiation visible to the human eye, which corresponds to wavelengths from 400 to 700 nanometers (nm).1,2 The impact of UV radiation on skin pigmentation has been well-established and its association with cutaneous disease, which range from aging and chronic actinic photo-damage to both non-melanoma and melanoma carcinogenesis, has been described in the literature.2-8 While most of the attention with respect to skin darkening is focused on the effect of the UV region of the solar spectrum, the effect of visible radiation has received little attention. However, solar radiation reaching the earth’s surface contains 12 to 14 times more visible radiation than UV.6 This study investigated the effects of two different sources of visible light, light emitting diode (LED) and halogen incandescent, on the cutaneous pigmentary response in individuals with Fitzpatrick skin types III-VI.


While most of the attention regarding skin pigmentation has focused on the effects of ultraviolet radiation, the cutaneous effects of visible light (400 to 700nm) are rarely reported. The purpose of this study was to 1) investigate the cutaneous pigmentary response to pure visible light irradiation, 2) examine the difference in response to different sources of visible light irradiation, and 3) determine a minimal pigmentary dose of visible light irradiation in melanocompetent subjects with Fitzpatrick skin type III - VI.


The study was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at New York University School of Medicine. Study procedures were followed in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Review Board and the principles of the Helsinki Declaration of 1975. Informed consent was obtained from all participants before initiation of the study.


To be included in the study, volunteers had to be at least 18