Treatment of pseudofolliculitis barbae using the long-pulse Nd:YAG laser on skin types V and VI

Dermatol Surg. 2003 Dec;29(12):1187-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2003.29387.x.


Background: Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) is a foreign body inflammatory condition that is caused by in-grown hairs of the face and body. An effective treatment to alleviate this condition without the risk of side effects has yet to be found.

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the Lyra 1064-nm long-pulse ND:YAG laser in the treatment of PFB on skin types V and VI.

Methods: Twenty subjects (12 males and 8 females) were given two treatments approximately 3 to 4 weeks apart and were assessed by objective papule/pustule and hair counts at 1, 2, and 3 months after final treatment. Laser treatments with the Lyra Nd:YAG laser were applied onto 2x2-cm regions on the upper and lower mandible and neck regions. Contralateral controls were used to assess overall effectiveness. Subjective evaluations were also obtained from both subjects and investigators. Assessments of any abnormal side effects caused by laser treatment, including dyspigmentation and/or scarring, were also evaluated.

Results: A reduction in the quantity of papules/pustules and hairs when compared with baseline data was statistically significant for treatment of PFB in the mandibular and neck regions at the 1-, 2-, and 3-month follow-up evaluations. Subject evaluations ranged from satisfied to very satisfied. Side effects included transient hyperpigmentation, transient hypopigmentation, mild erythema, and itching.

Conclusions: The use of the 1064-nm long-pulse Nd:YAG laser for the treatment and management of PFB on skin types V and VI is both safe and effective, with positive results lasting for up for to 3 months after two treatments.

MeSH terms

  • Facial Dermatoses / classification
  • Facial Dermatoses / surgery*
  • Female
  • Folliculitis / classification
  • Folliculitis / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy* / methods
  • Male
  • Neodymium
  • Yttrium


  • Neodymium
  • Yttrium