Intensive care

Since its recent introduction to the UK as a treatment for dry eye disease, there has been some considerable interest in intense pulsed light treatment. Dr Keyur Patel reminds us of the technique and shares his experience of its use in community practice

The use of high energy pulse application to the skin has been used in dermatology for some years. More recently, application has been found in optometry, in particular the management of meibomian gland disease (MGD) that contributes to dry eye (see Optician 17.03.2017).

The persistent nature of the condition and the need for good compliance with the currently accepted treatment options makes MGD a stubborn condition to address. Any treatment that might be applied by a practitioner and offer a longer-term solution should be viewed with interest. Intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy has been used for some years in the cosmetics industry for removal of skin lesions such as telangiectasia, port-wine stains and haemangiomas.

The technique has also been used in the management of severe facial erythema in patients with acne rosacea. In these patients, it was noticed that there also appeared to be some improvement in their MGD and it is from this serendipitous finding that an IPL treatment tailored for MGD was developed.

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