Background: The efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with intense pulsed light (IPL) has been shown for treating actinic keratoses (AK) and improving photoaged skin on the face but not yet on the dorsal hands.
Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of PDT with IPL for treating AK of the dorsal hands, inducing neocollagenesis and improving photoaged skin.
Methods: In this prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, monocentric, within-patient, observer-blinded trial, patients with one to four mild-to-moderate AK on the dorsal hands were randomly allocated to two different treatment groups: methyl aminolaevulinate (MAL) and IPL (λ ≥ 600 nm, 16·2 J cm-2 , three passes, Ellipse Flex PPT) (MAL-IPL) or placebo and IPL (λ ≥ 600 nm, 16·2 J cm-2 , three passes, Ellipse Flex PPT) (placebo-IPL). Patients received three treatments at 6-week intervals, and follow-up was 10 weeks after the last treatment. Thirty-seven patients aged 68·84 ± 9·28 years were randomized. The primary study end points were complete AK clearance per hand and neocollagenesis of subepidermal collagen 10 weeks after the last treatment.
Results: Ten weeks after the last treatment, complete AK clearance rates per hand were 54·5% after MAL-IPL and 3·0% after placebo-IPL (P < 0·0001); complete AK clearance rates per lesion were 69% and 15%, respectively (P < 0·001). The thickness of the subepidermal collagen band had increased by 290·6% (± 327·4%, P < 0·001) after MAL-IPL and by 215·5% (± 215·3%, P < 0·001) after placebo-IPL without any significant difference between the two groups. Ratings regarding mottled pigmentation and overall appearance by the blinded investigator were significantly higher for MAL-IPL than for placebo-IPL. Wrinkle size (MAL-IPL, -23·5%, P = 0·006; placebo-IPL, -17·7%, P = 0·010) and skin roughness (MAL-IPL, -18·3%, P < 0·001; placebo-IPL, -12·4%, P = 0·009) were significantly reduced in both groups without any significant difference between the two groups.
Conclusions: On the dorsal hands, MAL-IPL reduced AK more efficaciously than placebo-IPL; both treatment modalities significantly improved photoaged skin.
© 2016 British Association of Dermatologists.