Background: The long-pulsed diode (800-810-nm) laser is one of the most commonly used and effective lasers for hair removal. Limitations of currently available devices include a small treatment spot size, treatment-associated pain, and the need for skin cooling.
Objective: To evaluate the long-term hair reduction capabilities of a long-pulsed diode laser with a large spot size and vacuum assisted suction.
Methods: Thirty-five subjects were enrolled in a prospective, self-controlled, single-center study of axillary hair removal. The study consisted of three treatments using a long-pulsed diode laser with a large spot size and vacuum-assisted suction at 4- to 6-week intervals with follow-up visits 6 and 15 months after the last treatment. Hair clearance was quantified using macro hair-count photographs taken at baseline and at 6- and 15-month follow-up visits. Changes in hair thickness and color, levels of treatment-associated pain, and adverse events were additional study endpoints.
Results: There was statistically significant hair clearance at the 6 (54%) and 15-month (42%) follow-up visits. Remaining hairs were thinner and lighter at the 15-month follow-up visit, and the majority of subjects reported feeling up to mild to moderate pain during treatment without the use of pretreatment anesthesia or skin cooling.
Conclusions: A long-pulsed diode laser with a large spot size and vacuum-assisted suction is safe and effective for long-term hair removal. This is the largest prospective study to evaluate long-term hair removal and the first to quantify decreases in hair thickness and darkness with treatment.
© 2012 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.