A recent study of 113 Asian people has shown that a combination therapy of light therapy and fractional laser showed significantly greater improvements compared to a single-approach therapy (Tao, 2015). This is an important because ablative skin rejuvenation therapies have limitations for Asian people, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and long down time. Non-ablative lasers are safer but have limited efficacy. The combination showed better results of reducing wrinkles, spots, and better skin texture.
The study used Asian males and females aged 40-65 years old with facial skin showing moderate to severe signs of photo-aging including pigmentation, skin sagging or laxity, wrinkles, coarse pores, redness, and seborrheic keratosis.
The patients were randomly split into three groups; group A patients received the combination treatment over the whole face, group B patients received the combination treatment over the left side of the face, and single treatment over the right face, and Group C received the same split-face treatment, but reversed.
Each subject received five session of treatment within 90 days, as well as post follow-up visits in the first and third month. The interval between treatment sessions was 2 weeks after IPL treatment and 4 weeks after fractional treatment. The following was found:
Three months after last treatment, the full-face group (n = 57) had a global improvement rate of 29% for wrinkles, 32% for skin texture, 33% for pigment spots, 28% for pore size, respectively. For patients in the split-face groups (n = 54), monotherapy side had a global improvement rate of 23% and 20% for wrinkles, 27% for skin texture, 25% for pigment spots, 25% for pore size, respectively. Both combination therapy and monotherapy resulted in significant improvements at the follow-up visits compared to baseline (P < 0.001).
Combination therapy showed significantly greater improvements compared to monotherapy at two follow-up visits. Combination therapy is a safe and more effective strategy than a single treatment of IPL for skin rejuvenation in Asian people.
Reference: Tao, L. et al (2015, August 13). Intense pulsed light, near infrared pulsed light, and fractional laser. Retrieved September 15, 2015.