Wheeland, 1997 (laser overview)

Wheeland, 1997

Title: Laser-assisted hair removal.

Author: Wheeland RG

Journal: Dermatol Clin 1997 Jul;15(3):469-77

PMID: 9189683, UI: 97333523

Affiliated institution: Department of Dermatology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA.

Cited in: Solomon, McCoy

The use of lasers in the treatment of a number of different skin disorders and diseases has become commonplace. This tremendous acceptance by both physicians and patients is a direct reflection of the high degree of precision and selectivity provided by lasers, which helps to minimize the risk of side effects and complications while simultaneously maximizing the opportunity for obtaining a satisfactory outcome. In an attempt to remove unwanted or excess hair, the principles of selective photothermolysis have been employed with several different laser and light devices that permit the effective treatment of large areas of hair-bearing skin with minimal discomfort and with low risk of scarring or other complications. It is possible using current laser technology to permanently remove some hair and induce a prolonged delay in the regrowth of many hairs. With additional experience and an improved understanding of how light can influence the rate and quality of hair growth, it is anticipated that permanent hair removal will be achieved in the near future.

This is a good overview of hair removal methods from 1997. Sections include:

  • Embryology and anatomy of hair follicles

  • Phases of hair growth

  • Causes of hirsutism and hypertrichosis

  • Current nonlaser techniques for hair removal

"The only hair removal technique that has the proven capability of providing permanent removal of hair is electrolysis."

  • Current techniques for hair removal using lasers and light

    • Selective photothermolysis

    • Q-switched Nd:YAG

    • Ruby

    • Flashlamp

    • Photodynamic therapy

"It is possible using current laser technology to permanently remove some hair and induce a prolonged delay in the regrowth of many hairs."

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