Axillary hair removal with 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser increases sweat production

Clin Exp Dermatol. 2010 Aug;35(6):588-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2230.2009.03638.x. Epub 2009 Oct 23.


Background: Laser-assisted hair removal has become a popular treatment for eradication of body hair. Many studies have been published concerning the safety and efficacy of several laser systems. Adverse events are hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, erythema, oedema, scarring, pain and blistering. Changes in sweating have not previously been reported.

Aim: To investigate the effects on axillary sweating of hair removal by a 1064-nm neodymium:yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser.

Methods: The sweating function of both axillae was evaluated objectively by the iodine starch test for planimetry measurement and subjectively using a visual analogue scale (VAS) before the treatment, and 1 month and 1 year after the last session.

Results: The difference in hyperhidrotic activity before and after treatment was significant (P < 0.05), and these differences persisted 1 year after the last evaluation.

Conclusions: The results of this study confirm that treatment of axillary hair using the 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser can cause hyperhidrosis, and this effect is not transient. We did not evaluate the eccrine glands histologically, which is a limitation of the study.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Axilla
  • Hair Removal / adverse effects*
  • Hair Removal / methods
  • Humans
  • Hyperhidrosis / etiology*
  • Lasers, Solid-State / adverse effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweating / physiology*
  • Young Adult