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J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2005 Mar;7(1):33-8.

Photo-epilation: guidelines for care from the European Society for Laser Dermatology (ESLD).

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Cutaris Zentrum für Haut, Venen- und Lasermedizin, Munich, Germany.


Laser- or flashlamp- (also called intense pulsed light source or IPLS) assisted hair removal is a well tolerated and effective technique for patients who desire permanent reduction of hair growth. Although laser and light sources are very popular because of their non-invasive nature and the speed at which they operate, practitioners and patients have to be cautious to avoid permanent side effects instead of permanent hair reduction. These guidelines focus on patient selection and treatment protocol in order to provide safe and effective treatment. The ideal patient for laser hair removal is light skin with black coarse hair. Blond, grey and white hair does not respond to treatment. Individuals with dark skin, and especially tanned patients, are at higher risk for pigmentary changes. Sunscreen before and after treatment will produce and maintain untanned skin. The type of laser or IPLS and their specific parameters must be adapted to the patient (hair thickness, pigment concentration, Fitzpatrick skin type). Treatments should start on a test patch and a treatment grid can improve accuracy. Pre-, parallel and post-cooling, as well as a reduction of the fluence, will prevent adverse effects such as pigment alteration and scar formation. Average rates of long-term hair reduction are reported at between 70% and 90% at 6 months follow-up. At least three repeated treatments should be done to achieve partly permanent epilation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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