5-Aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy (ALA-PDT) has been an effective method for treating acne vulgaris. Red light is the most widely used light source while Intense pulsed lights (IPL) is reported effective and well-tolerated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and adverse reactions of ALA-PDT with red light on acne compared with ALA-PDT with IPL.12 patients were recruited in the randomized, prospective and split-face study. 5% ALA cream were applied on the whole face with 2 hours’ incubation before narrow band LED(633 ± 10 nm, 36 ∼ 108J/cm2) on one side of face and IPL(590∼1200 nm, 15∼17J/cm2) on the other side. Three treatment sessions were administered with 2-week interval each time and 8 weeks’ follow up. The number of the total acne lesions and inflammatory lesions of the side treated by red light-PDT showed a relatively higher reduction rate that that by IPL-PDT (P < 0.05). Significant PpIX fluorescence decrease was observed only for the group of red light (P < 0.05). Lower pain intensity numeric rating scale values and Investigator's Global Severity Assessment (IGA) grading for erythema of the IPL side were observed (P<0.05).The results suggested that both red light and IPL are effective for ALA-PDT on acne vulgaris. ALA-PDT with red light may achieve better efficacy by more effective photobleaching of protoporphyrin IX (PpIX), whereas IPL may accomplish less adverse reactions and better tolerance.
Zhang L, Wu Y, Zhang Y, Liu X, Wang B, Wang P, Zhang G, Wang X