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Lee Kar Wai Alvin, Speaker at Dermatology Conferences
EverKeen Medical Centre, Hong Kong
Title : Treatment of Acne Fulminans Using Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)


Acne Fulminans Treatment with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

Background: Acne Fulminans is a rare disorder that primarily affects male adolescents. It is characterized by acute onset of painful destructive pustule and nodules that appear on face, chest, back and upper extremities. It can present with systemic symptoms such as weight loss and fever. Treatment is typically difficult and may require potent medications such as steroids, isotretinoin and cyclosporine. We present 3 cases of Acne Fulminans that have been successfully treated with Intense Pulsed Light therapy.

Method: 3 cases of Acne Fulminans have failed systemic Isotretinoin and antibiotics therapy were treated with Intense Pulsed Light therapy. All of them were treated with IPL, cutoff filters of 515-755nm, pulse durations of3-6 ms, pulse delay of 10-40ms, fluence of 10-22 J/cm2, double and triple pulses, number of treatments: 8.

The treatments were performed tri-weekly until the patients were satisfied with the cosmetic results. No adjuvant therapy like isotretinoin was given to any of the patient. Clinical photos were taken every time before treatment. 2 individual blinded investigators were asked to assess and compare with the pretreatment photos. Patient satisfaction rates were asked before the first and the last treatment. Side effects were monitored.

Results: The improvement were excellent in 3 of them. The effects of IPL treatments were long-lasting. All 3 patients showed a high patient satisfaction rate. 

Conclusion: Intense Pulsed Light can successfully improve refractory Acne Fulminans.


Dr Alvin Lee, MBChB (CUHK), MScPD (Cardiff), PgDipPD (Cardiff), PGDipClinDerm (Lond), DipMed (CUHK), DCH (Sydney), is a general practitioner with special interest in aesthetic medicine. He has Master in Practical Dermatology and Master in Clinical Dermatology at Cardiff University and is also a clinical tutor (honorary) at the Division of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong