Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy

In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy was first developed in 1992 by Doctors Goldman, Fitzpatrick, and Eckhouse for the treatment of leg telangiectasias. Proof-of-concept studies were conducted on rabbit ear veins, demonstrating IPL's ability to thermocoagulate vessels while minimizing purpura and epidermal damage. Since the first United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved IPL device was brought to the market in 1995, this technology has undergone significant innovation and improvement in its clinical applications and affordability.

IPL devices are unique in that they employ flashlamps and bandpass filters to produce pulsed light of varying wavelengths, durations, and fluences. These characteristics provide IPL versatility in addressing numerous dermatological conditions. IPL is safe and effective in treating benign pigmented and vascular disorders as well as performing hair removal and reducing signs of photoaging. Currently, IPL is an invaluable tool in dermatology and is frequently used to address a broad range of functional and cosmetic concerns.

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