In comparison to single color light therapy described above, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) techniques make use of polychromatic light. The devices used for IPL are made up of flash lamps together with computer-monitored capacitor banks that provide the pulsed polychromatic light. The further treatment is dependent on user-based parameters like the range of wavelength by using filters, fluence, duration of the pulse as well as the pulse intervals.
In addition to being able to emit wavelengths like blue and red, which have the ability to photoactivate porphyrins as well as target the growth of P. acnes, the broad spectrum wavelength delivered by these IPL devices is set to cause photo thermolysis. During this process, the absorbing light generates sufficient heat inside the skin, as well as energy, so as to be able to have an impact on the blood vessels which supply sebaceous glands. As a result, it is able to decrease the level of sebum production.
Some research studies done on the efficiency of IPL as an anti-acne treatment have produced mixed results. A few of the research studies have shown some degree of short-term improvement in inflammatory as well as non-inflammatory acne lesions through the use of IPL. Some other research studies have demonstrated that the use of only IPL and IPL combined with photodynamic treatment options is able to provide a significant reduction in the number of non-inflammatory acne lesions, but does not show the same effectiveness against inflammatory acne lesions. In addition, as compared to other light sources, IPL has been found to be less efficient at decreasing the number of acne lesions than the impact produced by pulsed dye lasers, but has been found to be more efficient than blue-red combined light-emitting diodes. Side effects of the treatment may include some pain, swelling, erythema, blistering, and crusting.