Home Laser System Safe and Efficacious for Hair Removal

Home use product leads to 33% hair reduction one year after treatment.

MONDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- A battery-operated, laser-based hair removal system is safe, efficacious, and would be easy to use at home, according to a report in the July issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. The patients simulated home use but used the device in a health care setting.

Ronald G. Wheeland, M.D., chief of dermatologic surgery at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., tested the portable, handheld diode hair-removal laser in 121 subjects, including 77 who were appropriate candidates for treatment (lighter skin; brown or black hair). These subjects performed three self-administered treatments three weeks apart. The remaining subjects were inappropriate candidates for the treatment (darker skin or red, gray, white, or blond hair) and received a single laser pulse at the maximal energy fluence to test for safety.

Mean hair reduction three weeks after the first treatment was 60.6 percent and 69.8 percent three weeks after the second treatment. Twelve months after the third treatment, the mean hair reduction was 32.7 percent.

One-third of subjects in the treatment group reported mild to moderate erythema and slight pain during treatment, while one-quarter in the inappropriate candidates developed blisters.

"Overall, the battery-powered, handheld, portable diode laser has an excellent benefit-to-risk ratio and is suitable for at-home consumer use for the removal of unwanted or excess hair," the authors concluded.

The trial was sponsored by SpectraGenics Inc., developer of the handheld device.

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