A systematic review of light-based home-use devices for hair removal and considerations on human safety.
Thaysen-Petersen D, Bjerring P, Dierickx C, Nash JF, Town G, Haedersdal M.
SourceDepartment of Dermatology, Bispebjerg Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark Department of Dermatology, Molholm Hospital, Vejle, Denmark Skin and Laser Center, Boom, Belgium Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH, USA Faculty of Applied Design & Engineering, University of Wales, Swansea Metropolitan University, Swansea, UK.
Background Hair removal with professional light-based devices is established as an effective, mainstream treatment. The field of optical home-based hair removal is evolving and movement from control by physicians into hands of consumers warrants understanding efficacy and human safety. Objectives To systematically review and evaluate the efficacy and human safety of currently available home-based optical hair removal devices. Methods A comprehensive Pub Med literature search was conducted which systematically identified publications of relevance. Prospective clinical trials were included whether controlled, uncontrolled or randomized and with a sample size of at least 10 individuals. Results We identified a total of seven studies: one controlled (CT) and six uncontrolled trials (UCTs). No randomized controlled trials (RCT) were recognized. The best evidence was found for IPL (intense pulsed light) (three devices, one CT, five UCTs) and limited evidence for laser devices (one diode laser, one UCT). Most studies evaluated short-term hair reduction up to 3 and 6 months following light exposure at different body sites. Hair reduction percentages ranged from 6% to 72% after repetitive treatments. The most frequently reported side-effect was erythema, but oedema, blistering, crusting and pigment changes were also reported. Theoretical concerns about ocular damage and paradoxical hair growth have not been reported in any of the studies reviewed. Conclusions Available evidence from prospective, uncontrolled clinical trials indicates short-term hair removal efficacy of currently available home-use light-based hair removal devices. Additional controlled trials will be helpful to substantiate the efficacy and to better predict the incidence of adverse events associated with optical home-use hair removal.
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology © 2011 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.