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Aesthet Surg J. 2005 Mar-Apr;25(2):138-43. doi: 10.1016/j.asj.2005.02.003.

Hair removal with the long-pulse alexandrite laser.



Although laser depilation has been performed for removal or reduction of unwanted and dark-colored hair in recent years, techniques including the appropriate approaches for different skin types and body areas have not yet been optimized.


We review the principles of laser hair removal and report a retrospective study of 322 patients who received long-pulse alexandrite laser hair removal for 3 or more sessions between January 2000 and December 2002.


Prior to treatment, patients were evaluated by a physician and informed of the mechanism, efficacy, and possible side effects of treatment. Patients were classified by skin type according to the Fitzpatrick classification. Those patients with systemic disease, a history of sun sensitivity, or who had used drugs known to cause photosensitivity were excluded from laser treatment. All treatments were performed with a long-pulse alexandrite laser with a constant spot size (18 mm) and 3-ms pulse width that applied energy of 755 nm. Sessions were repeated at different intervals depending on the body parts to be treated.


The overall hair reduction rate for all patients, independent of skin type, was estimated as 80.8%. There were 2 cases of hypopigmentation and 8 cases of hyperpigmentation post-treatment. No other complications were reported.


Treatment with the long-pulse alexandrite laser can meet the expectations of patients who desire permanent hair removal. Careful examination of patients prior to therapy, as well as thorough patient education, are essential to patient compliance and success with this technique.


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