Is IPL Safe? Does IPL Work?

Having now used IPL on almost 100 patients, I have found IPL to be very safe and effective.
Here is another paper showing IPL is safe. The only complication they had was partial eyelash loss in 1 patient.

 2018 Jun;36(6):326-332. doi: 10.1089/pho.2017.4402. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Intense Pulsed Light Applied Directly on Eyelids Combined with Meibomian Gland Expression to Treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.

Rong B1Tang Y1Tu P2Liu R1Qiao J1Song W1Toyos R3Yan X1.

Author information

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Peking University First Hospital , Beijing, China .
2 Department of Dermatology, Peking University First Hospital , Beijing, China .
3 Toyos Clinic , Germantown, Tennessee.



To determine the efficacy and safety of intense pulsed light (IPL) applied directly on the eyelids and meibomian gland expression (MGX) in treating meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).


IPL application on the periocular skin effectively improves meibomian gland secretion and tear film break-up time (TBUT) in patients with MGD/dry eye.


This prospective, randomized, double-masked, controlled study involved 44 patients. One eye was randomly selected for IPL treatment; the other served as a control. Study eyes received three IPL treatments at 4-week intervals; IPL was applied directly on the eyelids, and the eye was protected with a Jaeger lid plate. Control eyes received sham IPL treatments. Both eyes received MGX and artificial tears. Meibomian gland yielding secretion score (MGYSS), TBUT, Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED), cornea fluorescein staining (CFS), meibography, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), intraocular pressure (IOP), and fundus examination were performed.


Compared to the baseline, MGYSS, TBUT, and SPEED and CFS scores improved in the study eyes, while only SPEED and CFS scores improved in the control eyes (p < 0.001 for all). Changes in MGYSS and TBUT were higher in the study eyes than in the control eyes (p < 0.05), but changes in SPEED and CFS scores were similar (p > 0.05). BCVA and IOP improved in both the study and control eyes (p < 0.05). Five patients experienced mild pain and burning during IPL treatment. One patient suffered partial eyelash loss.


IPL combined with MGX safely and effectively treated MGD.
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