Evaluation of efficacy and safety of chemical peeling and long-pulse Nd:YAG laser in treatment of pseudofolliculitis barbae

Dermatol Ther. 2021 Mar;34(2):e14859. doi: 10.1111/dth.14859. Epub 2021 Feb 28.


Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) presents as chronic inflammation of the beard area that affect males but also females may affect if have coarse hair. Its treatment can be challenging. Laser-assisted hair removal causes miniaturization of hair shafts which are the principal contributors to inflammation in PFB. Also chemical peeling is used in treatment of PFB. To assess and compare the efficacy and safety of long pulsed Nd:YAG laser vs chemical peeling in the treatment of PFB. Twenty male patients with PFB were divided randomly into two groups. Group A treated by long pulsed Nd: Yag laser and group B treated by chemical peeling, all were subjected to treatment until complete clearance or maximum five sessions. Clinical assessment of skin lesions was done at baseline, end of sessions, follow-up at 3 months after end of therapy by counting of papules. Subjective evaluations were also obtained from both subjects and investigators. Assessments of any abnormal side effects caused by laser treatment or by chemical peeling were also evaluated. A reduction in the quantity of papules/pustules when compared with baseline data was statistically significant more in laser group than peeling group for treatment of PFB in the mandibular and neck regions at the end of session and follow-up evaluations. Subject evaluations ranged from satisfied to very satisfied. Side effects of chemical peeling included transient hyperpigmentation, mild erythema, and burning and side effects of laser included pain. Both therapy are effective and safe in the treatment of PFB but laser therapy more effective than peeling therapy.

Keywords: Nd: YAG laser; chemical peeling; pseudofolliculitis barbae.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hair Diseases*
  • Hair Removal* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Lasers, Solid-State* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome

Supplementary concepts

  • Pseudofolliculitis Barbae