Title: Alexandrite laser hair removal is safe for Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI.
Authors: Garcia C, Alamoudi H, Nakib M, Zimmo S
Journal: Dermatol Surg 2000 Feb;26(2):130-4
Affiliated institution: Ideal Clinics and King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. [email protected]
BACKGROUND: Various lasers have been developed for epilation of unwanted hair. Most studies, however, have been done in white patients with minimal reference to dark-skinned individuals. OBJECTIVE: To determine the safety profile of a long-pulsed alexandrite laser for hair removal in patients with Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI exclusively. METHODS: Prospective clinical evaluation conducted from June 1998 to April 1999 at a referral private clinic. Prelaser skin testing was performed starting at 16 J/cm2 and energy fluence selected according to response. Complications were recorded at each visit. RESULTS: One hundred and fifty patients are reported (18 men and 132 women) ranging in age from 15 to 50 years, for a total of 550 treatment sites. Complications occurred in only 2% of cases. CONCLUSION: The long-pulsed alexandrite laser is safe for hair removal in darker skin tones. Prelaser skin testing was not helpful in this study, as there was no relationship between skin reaction and the incidence of complications.