Agent-based model of laser hair removal: a treatment optimization and patient education tool

Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. Jul-Aug 2009;75(4):383-7. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.53135.

Abstract

Background: Tracking of various parameters associated with laser hair removal is tedious and time consuming. The currently available mathematical models are not simple enough for physicians to be used as a treatment optimization and patient education tool.

Aim: The aim of the study was to develop a mathematical model for laser hair removal using agent-based modeling and to make a user-friendly simulation environment.

Methods: The model was created using NetLogo. The hairs were modeled as agents oscillating between anagen and telogen. The variables were assigned based on published data whenever possible and the various paths the agent could take were coded as conditional statements. The improvement was assessed using an arbitrary index which takes into account the mean diameter and pigmentation along with the number and length of hairs visible above the surface. Few of the commonly encountered scenarios were simulated using the model.

Results: The model is made freely available online (http://www.gulfdoctor.net/model/lhr.htm). Limited number of simulations performed indicated that an eight-week gap between laser sessions may be more effective than a four-week gap.

Conclusions: The simulation provides a reliable tool for treatment optimization and patient education as obtaining relevant clinical data is slow and labor-intensive. Its visual interface and online availability makes it useful for everyday use.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Hair Removal / methods
  • Hair Removal / standards*
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Laser Therapy / standards
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome