Temporary hair loss using the long-pulsed alexandrite laser at 20 milliseconds

Eur J Dermatol. 2000 Mar;10(2):103-6.


Facial hypertrichosis presents an enormous psychological burden for women. Temporary hair removal (waxing, plucking, etc.) and electrolysis are prolonged and unsatisfactory methods of treatment. For a few years several laser systems with varying wavelengths, pulse durations and energy fluences have been used successfully in laser epilation. In the retrospective study on hand, we report on results of 30 female patients with hypertrichosis in the facial area treated with the long pulse alexandrite laser at 20 msec (Cynosure PhotoGenica LPIR/Apogee; 755 nm; 20 msec; up to 30 J/cm2; 10 or 12.5 mm beam diameter) over an 18 month treatment period. After an average of 8 treatments, an average clearance rate of 75% could be achieved. Fair hair (white/blond/red) only showed a clearance rate of 10%. Hypo- and hyperpigmentation did not appear. The most frequent adverse effects were the occasional appearance of scattered crusting (17%), which healed without consequences, and folliculitis (13%). The average post-treatment observation time lasted 3.25 months. The long-pulsed alexandrite laser at a pulse duration of 20 msec is an effective and safe method of treatment of hypertrichosis in the facial region of women. Black hair responds considerably better to the laser treatment than fair hair. A longer post-treatment observation time is necessary, though, in order to provide evidence for the permanence of the success of the method.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beryllium
  • Facial Dermatoses / radiotherapy
  • Female
  • Folliculitis / etiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hair Color
  • Hair Removal / adverse effects
  • Hair Removal / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypertrichosis / radiotherapy
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Lasers / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Safety
  • Skin Diseases / etiology


  • alexandrite
  • Beryllium