Title: Hair removal using topical suspension-assisted Q-switched Nd:YAG and long-pulsed alexandrite lasers: A comparative study.
Authors: Rogers CJ, Glaser DA, Siegfried EC, Walsh PM
Journal: Dermatol Surg 1999 Nov;25(11):844-4; discussion 848-50
Affiliated institution: Saint Louis University, MO 63104, USA.
BACKGROUND: The use of lasers for removal of unwanted hair has been shown to be effective in temporarily controlling hair growth. Several lasers are currently utilized for this purpose. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates the short-term effectiveness and discomfort levels of the long-pulsed alexandrite laser and the topical suspension-assisted Q-switched Nd:YAG laser in a side-by-side comparison. METHODS: Fifteen subjects were treated in the bilateral hair-bearing axilla, using one treatment with the alexandrite laser for the right and two treatments with the topical suspension-assisted Nd:YAG laser for the left. Reduction in hair regrowth was measured at 2 and 3 months following the first treatment by comparing the terminal hair count to the baseline values. Patients rated their pain on a scale of 0-10 immediately following the first treatment at each site. RESULTS: The mean percentage reduction in hair regrowth 2 months following alexandrite laser treatment was 55% and 73% for the Nd:YAG laser-treated regions. After 3 months, alexandrite laser-treated patients showed a reduction of 19%, while Nd:YAG laser-treated patients showed a 27% reduction. Patients reported average pain values of 8 and 4 for the long-pulsed alexandrite and Nd:YAG laser sites, respectively. All differences were significant. CONCLUSION: While the design of this study makes it difficult to compare the relative effectiveness of the lasers, both systems evaluated were shown to delay hair growth and provide patients with a satisfactory treatment.