Intense Pulsed Light Treatment for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction in Skin Types III/IV

Photobiomodul Photomed Laser Surg. 2019 Feb;37(2):70-76. doi: 10.1089/photob.2018.4509. Epub 2019 Jan 14.


Background and objective: Several cases of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), particularly the moderate to severe ones, are considered intractable by traditional therapy. Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy has emerged as a new choice for management of MGD in recent years, given that use of lasers and optical treatments is typically challenging in patients with darker skin types. Methods: IPL treatment for MGD is administered in the periorbital area with the thinnest skin in our body, which has an inherent risk of skin side effects. We evaluated the effects and safety of this therapy in Chinese patients with Fitzpatrick skin types III-IV. Forty MGD patients were randomly administered IPL treatment with two types of parameters in the left and the right eye. Results: Results revealed that both parameter settings of IPL treatment could gradually and effectively raise the tear breakup time (BUT) and ocular surface disease index (OSDI) score. However, younger patients showed better improvement in BUT (F = 19.54, p < 0.01) and OSDI (F = 9.93, p < 0.01) compared with older patients. Conclusions: Overall, results showed that IPL treatment is safe and effective in MGD patients with skin types III-IV.

Keywords: IPL; MGD; dry eye disease; intense pulsed light; meibomian gland dysfunction; skin types III–IV.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Asian People*
  • China
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intense Pulsed Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Meibomian Gland Dysfunction / ethnology
  • Meibomian Gland Dysfunction / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Pigmentation*
  • Treatment Outcome