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Lasers Surg Med. 2006 Feb;38(2):124-8.

Split treatment of photodamaged skin with KTP 532 nm laser with 10 mm handpiece versus IPL: a cheek-to-cheek comparison.

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Department of Dermatology, Naval Medical Center San Diego, California 92134-2098, USA.



The treatment of photodamaged skin with potassium-titanyl-phosphate (KTP) laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) has been reported in several studies. Each device has strengths and weaknesses; however, patient and device variability have made it difficult to ascertain the optimal device for photorejuvenation. The objective of this study was to obtain a head-to-head comparison of IPL and KTP laser for photorejuvenation. Each patient received one KTP laser treatment on one side of the face and one IPL treatment on the other side.


Seventeen patients with skin types I-IV were accepted into the study based on existence of dyschromias (pigmented and vascular) and/or discrete telangiectases. After performance of test spots on each patient to determine optimal settings for both devices, patients were treated with both devices in a split face manner. Evaluations and photographs were performed 1 week and 1 month after treatment. Patient and observer evaluations of results were recorded, as well as time to perform each treatment, and patient feedback with regard to pain and edema. No anesthesia was used in these treatments. Photographs were reviewed by a panel of blinded observers to assess changes in red and brown dyschromias.


One month average improvement (evaluator) for IPL side was (mean) 38.16%/35.08% for vascular/pigment lesions versus 41.99%/30.21% for KTP side. Patient self-evaluated global improvement at 1 month was (mean) 65.59% for IPL side versus 60.88% for KTP side. A majority of patients found the KTP to be slightly more painful with a mean pain rating of 5.27 of 10 versus 4.4 of 10 for IPL. A majority of patients experienced subjectively greater post-procedure swelling on the KTP side. Time to conduct treatment was an average of 10.0 minutes for IPL, 8.7 minutes for KTP.


Both large spot KTP and IPL achieved marked improvement in vascular and pigmented lesions in one session. The KTP laser caused slightly more discomfort and edema than the IPL. On the other hand, the KTP laser was faster, and more ergonomically flexible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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