Efficacy of intense pulsed light combined with topical erythromycin solution 2% versus topical erythromycin solution 2% alone in the treatment of persistent facial erythematous acne macules


1 Department of Dermatology, Skin diseases and Leishmaniasis research center, Isfahan University school of medicine, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Skin diseases and Leishmaniasis research center, Isfahan, Iran

3 Medical supervisory office of Vice chancellor of medical practice, Isfahan University of Medical sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: There is always a necessity for newer acne treatments. Intense pulsed light (IPL) technology has been used for this purpose but there are limited studies in this field. As macular and erythematous remnants of acne inflammatory lesions are very common, resistant, and long lasting, we decided to evaluate the efficacy of IPL (as a tool for diminishing erythematous reactions in the tissues) for the treatment of residual erythematous macules following facial acne.
Materials and Methods: Thirty-five patients were registered in the study. Patient recruitment occurred between January 2010 and June 2011, and the study was completed in October 2011. Every patient received three IPL sessions, with a 2 week interval, on the right side of his/her face. Also, we recommended the patients to apply topical erythromycin solution 2% twice daily on their entire face from start to end of the study (i.e. until 3 months after the third IPL session). An independent physician counted the number of erythematous macules before every IPL session and 1 and 3 months after the last session.
Results: Thirty-three patients completed the study and were enrolled in analysis. Results of the study show that IPL therapy decreases the number of erythematous macules along the time.
Conclusions: IPL can accelerate the improvement rate of persistent erythematous macules remained after inflammatory acne subsides. More studies are needed to explain the exact role of it.


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