Intense Pulsed Light and Nonablative Approaches to Photoaging
One of the most controversial light-based technologies, ﬁrst introduced for clinical studies in 1994, and cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in late 1995 as the PhotodermTM (ESC/Sharplan, Norwood, Massachusetts, now Lumenis, Santa Clara, California), is the noncoherent ﬁltered ﬂashlamp intense pulsed light (IPL) source. It was initially launched and promoted as a radical improvement over existing methods for the elimination of leg telangiectasia, because of pressure from venture capital groups that funded its development in response to the perceived need for a new leg vein therapy. Another important feature recognized earlier was the IPL’s ability, as a speciﬁc modality, to minimize the possibility of purpura common to pulsed dye lasers (PDL). In reality, the device turned out to be of far greater utility for indications other than leg telangiectasias. The road to usability, reproducibility, and good results was a long one. Ironically, it is now considered the gold standard for the treatment of many of the signs of photoaging.