Journal Information
Vol. 100. Issue 5.
Pages 351-361 (June - July 2009)
Download PDF
More article options
Vol. 100. Issue 5.
Pages 351-361 (June - July 2009)
Review article
Full text access
P. Serrano-Grau??
Corresponding author

Correspondence: Hospital Clínica, C/ Villarroel, 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain.
, A. Campo-Voegeli, D. Romero
Centro Dermatológico Barnaclínic, Servicio de Dermatología, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Clínica Dermatológica Campo De Felipe, Barcelona, Spain
Article information
Download PDF

Unwanted hair is a common problem for which different types of light therapy have been developed as the treatment of choice. Since 1996, when the American Food and Drug Administration approved the first laser therapy for depilation, much progress has been made in light-based technology and lasers. Lasers and intense pulsed light sources with red or near infrared wavelengths (600 to 1200 nm) are the most widely used for removing hair as they target the melanin of the hair shaft, hair follicle epithelium, and hair matrix. The aim of this review is to describe and compare the different photodepilation methods currently available.

Key words:
hair removal

Los pelos indeseados son un problema frecuente para el cual se han desarrollado diferentes tipos de luz como tratamiento de elección. Desde que en 1996 la Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aprobó el primer láser para depilar, se han hecho muchos avances en la tecnología basada en la luz y los láseres. Los láseres y las fuentes de luz intensa pulsada (IPL) con longitudes de onda en el espectro del rojo o casi el infrarrojo (de 600 a 1.200 nm) son los más utilizados para eliminar el pelo, ya que tienen como diana la melanina de la vaina del pelo, la del epitelio del folículo piloso y la de la matriz. El propósito de esta revisión es describir y comparar los diferentes métodos de fotodepilación disponibles actualmente.

Palabras clave:
eliminación del pelo
Full text is only aviable in PDF
T. Maiman.
Stimulated optical radiation in ruby.
Nature, 187 (1960), pp. 493-494
A. Einstein.
Zur Quantentheorie der Strahlung.
Physiol Z, 18 (1917), pp. 121-128
L. Goldman, D.J. Blaney, D.J. Kindel Jr, E.K. Franke.
Effect of the laser beam on the skin: preliminary report.
J Invest Dermatol, 40 (1963), pp. 121-122
L. Goldman, D.J. Blaney, D.J. Kindel, D.J. Kindel Jr, E.K. Franke.
Pathology of the effect of the laser beam on the skin.
Nature, 197 (1963), pp. 912-914
L. Goldman, R.J. Rockwell, R. Meyer, R. Otten.
Investigative studies with the laser in the treatment of basal cell epitheliomas.
South Med J, 61 (1968), pp. 735-742
R.R. Anderson, J.A. Parrish.
Selective photothermolysis: precise microsurgery by selective absorption of pulsed radiation.
Science, 220 (1983), pp. 524-527
N.L. Marchell, T.S. Alster.
Evaluation of temporary and permanent hair removal methods.
J Aesth Cosmet Dermatol Surg, 1 (1999), pp. 3-12
E.A. Olsen.
Methods of hair removal.
J Am Acad Dermatol, 40 (1999), pp. 143-155
R.N. Richards, G.A. Meharg.
Electrolysis: observations from 13 years and 140,000 hours of experience.
J Am Acad Dermatol, 33 (1995), pp. 662-666
R.F. Wagner.
Physical methods for the management of hirsuitism.
Cutis, 45 (1990), pp. 199-202
G. Lask, M. Elman, M. Slatkine, A. Waldman, Z. Rozemberg.
Laser - assisted hair removal by selective photothermolysis.
Dermatol Surg, 23 (1997), pp. 737-739
C.A. Nanni, T.S. Alster.
Practical review of laser-assisted hair removal using the Q-switched Nd:YAG, long-pulsed ruby, and long-pulsed alexandrite lasers.
Dermatol Surg, 24 (1998), pp. 1399-1405
E.V. Ross, Z. Ladin, M. Kreindel, C. Dierickx.
Theoretical considerations in laser hair removal.
Dermatol Clin, 17 (1999), pp. 333-355
C.C. Dierickx.
Hair removal by lasers and intense pulsed light sources.
Dermatol Clin, 20 (2002), pp. 135-146
R.R. Anderson, J.A. Parrish.
Optical properties of human skin.
The science of photomedicine, pp. 147-194
N.S. Sadick, Y. Makino.
Selective electro-thermolysis in aesthetic medicine: a review.
Lasers Surg Med, 34 (2004), pp. 91-97
N.S. Sadick, J. Shaoul.
Hair removal using a combination of conducted radiofrequency and optical energies - an 18-month follow-up.
J Cosmet Laser Ther, 6 (2004), pp. 21-26
N.S. Sadick, S.A. Laughlin.
Effective epilation of white and blond hair using combined radiofrequency and optical energy.
J Cosmet Laser Ther, 6 (2004), pp. 27-31
M.J.C. Van Germert, A.J. Welch.
Time constraints in thermal laser medicine.
Lasers Surg Med, 9 (1989), pp. 405-421
D. Manstein, C.C. Dierickx, W. Koh, R.R. Anderson.
Effects of very long pulses on human hair follicles [abstract].
Lasers Surg Med, 12 (2000), pp. 85
G.B. Altshuler, R.R. Anderson, D. Manstein, H.H. Zenzic, M.Z. Smirnov.
Extended theory of selective photothermolysis.
Lasers Surg Med, 29 (2001), pp. 416-432
E. Battle, K. Suthamjariya, B. Alora, K. Palli, R.R. Anderson.
Very long-pulsed diode laser for hair removal on all skin types [abstract].
Lasers Surg Med, 12 (2000), pp. 85
A.S. Rogachefsky, S. Silapunt, D.J. Goldberg.
Evaluation of a new super-long-pulsed 810nm diode laser for the removal of unwanted hair: the concept of thermal damage.
Dermatol Surg, 28 (2002), pp. 410-414
G.B. Altshuler, H.H. Zenzie, A.V. Erofeev, M.Z. Smirnov, R.R. Anderson, C. Dierickx.
Contact cooling of the skin.
Phys Med Biol, 44 (1999), pp. 1003-1023
D.J. Goldberg.
Laser cooling.
J Cutan Laser Ther, 3 (2001), pp. 28-29
M.C. Grossman, C. Dierickx, W. Farinelli, T. Flotte, R.R. Anderson.
Damage of hair follicles by normal mode ruby laser pulses.
J Am Acad Dermatol, 35 (1996), pp. 889-894
C.C. Dierickx, M.C. Grossman, W.A. Farinelli, R.R. Anderson.
Permanent hair removal by normal–mode ruby laser.
Arch Dermatol, 134 (1998), pp. 837-844
M.B. Wimmershoff, K. Scherer, Z. Lorenz, M. Landthaler, U. Hohenleutner.
Hair removal using 5-msec long-pulsed ruby laser.
Dermatol Surg, 26 (2000), pp. 205-210
S. Sommer, C. Render, R. Burd, R. Sheehan-Dare.
Ruby laser treatment for hirsutism: clinical response and patient tolerance.
Br J Dermatol, 138 (1998), pp. 1009-1014
R. Williams, H. Havoonjian, K. Isagholian, G. Menaker, R. Moy.
A clinical study of hair removal using the longpulsed ruby laser.
Dermatol Surg, 24 (1998), pp. 837-842
M.P. Solomon.
Hair removal using the long-pulsed ruby laser.
Ann Plast Surg, 41 (1998), pp. 1-6
B. Finkel, Y.D. Eliezri, A. Waldman, M. Slatkine.
Pulse alexandrite laser technology for noninvasive hair removal.
J Clin Laser Med Surg, 15 (1997), pp. 225-229
D.H. McDaniel, J. Lord, K. Ash, J. Newman, M. Zukowski.
Laser hair removal: a review and report on the use of long-pulsed alexandrite laser for hair reduction of the upper lip, leg, back, and bikini region.
Dermatol Surg, 25 (1999), pp. 425-430
C.A. Nanni, T.S. Alster.
Long pulsed alexandrite laser assisted hair removal at 5, 10, and 20 millisecond pulse durations.
Lasers Surg Med, 24 (1999), pp. 332-337
C.A. Nanni, T.S. Alster.
Laser assisted hair removal: side effects of Q-switched Nd:YAG, long pulsed ruby, and alexandrite lasers.
J Am Acad Dermatol, 41 (1999), pp. 165-171
C. García, H. Alamoudi, M. Nakib, S. Zimmo.
Alexandrite laser hair removal is safe for Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI.
Dermatol Surg, 26 (2002), pp. 130-134
S. Eremia, C. Li, S.H. Umar, N. Newman.
Laser hair removal: long-term results with a 755 nm alexandrite laser.
Dermatol Surg, 27 (2001), pp. 920-924
S. Eremia, C. Li, N. Newman.
Laser hair removal with alexandrite versus diode laser using four treatment sessions: 1-year results.
Dermatol Surg, 27 (2001), pp. 925-930
C. Handrick, T.S. Alster.
Comparison of long-pulsed diode and long-pulsed alexandrite lasers for hair removal: a long-term clinical and histologic study.
Dermatol Surg, 27 (2001), pp. 622-626
V.B. Campos, C.C. Dierickx, W.A. Farinelli, T.Y. Lin, W. Manuskiatti, R.R. Anderson.
Hair removal with an 800 nm pulsed diode laser.
J Am Acad Dermatol, 43 (2000), pp. 442-447
W.W. Lou, A.T. Quintana, R.G. Geronemus, M.C. Grossman.
Prospective study of hair reduction by diode laser (800 nm) with long-term follow-up.
Dermatol Surg, 26 (2000), pp. 428-432
W.P. Baugh, J.P. Trafeli, D.J. Barnette Jr, E.V. Ross.
Hair reduction using a scanning 800 nm diode laser.
Dermatol Surg, 27 (2001), pp. 358-364
P.S. Yamauchi, A.P. Kelly, G.P. Lask.
Treatment of pseudofolliculitis barbae with diode laser.
J Cutan Laser Ther, 1 (1999), pp. 109-111
C.A. Nanni, T.S. Alster.
Optimizing treatment parameters for hair removal using a topical carbon-based solution and 1064 nm Q-switched neodymium:YAG laser energy.
Arch Dermatol, 133 (1997), pp. 1546-1549
D.J. Goldberg, C.M. Littler, R.G. Wheeland.
Topical suspension-assisted Q-switched Nd:YAG laser hair removal.
Dermatol Surg, 23 (1997), pp. 741-745
T.S. Alster, H. Bryan, C.M. Williams.
Long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser-assisted hair removal in pigmented skin: a clinical and histological evaluation.
Arch Dermatol, 137 (2001), pp. 885-889
D.J. Goldberg, S. Silapunt.
Hair removal using a longpulsed Nd:YAG laser: comparison at fluences of 50, 80, and 100 J/ cm2.
Dermatol Surg, 27 (2001), pp. 434-436
S. Lorenz, S. Brunnberg, M. Landthaler, U. Hohenleutner.
Hair removal with the long pulsed Nd:YAG laser: a prospective study with one year follow-up.
Lasers Surg Med, 30 (2002), pp. 127-134
M.H. Gold, M.W. Bell, T.D. Foster, S. Street.
Long-term epilation using the Epilight broad band, intense pulsed light hair removal system.
Dermatol Surg, 23 (1997), pp. 909-913
R.A. Weiss, M.A. Weiss, S. Marwaha, A.C. Harrington.
Hair removal with a non-coherent filtered flashlamp intense pulsed light source.
Lasers Surg Med, 24 (1999), pp. 128-132
N.S. Sadick, C.R. Shea, J.L. Burchette, V.G. Prieto.
Highintensity flashlamp photoepilation: a clinical, histological, andmechanistic study in human skin.
Arch Dermatol, 135 (1999), pp. 668-676
N.S. Sadick, R.A. Weiss, C.R. Shea, H. Nagel, J. Nicholson, V.G. Prieto.
Long-term photoepilation using a broadspectrum intense pulsed light source.
Arch Dermatol., 136 (2000), pp. 1336-1340
S.P. Lim, S.W. Lanigan.
A review of adverse effects of laser hair removal.
Lasers Med Sci, 21 (2006), pp. 121-125
P. Boixeda, A. Pérez-Rodríguez, M. Fernández Lorente, J.M. Arrazola.
Novedades en láser cutáneo.
Actas Dermosifilogr, 94 (2003), pp. 199-231
S.P. Vlachos, P.P. Kontoes.
Development of terminal hair following skin lesion treatments with an intense pulsed light source.
Aesthetic Plast Surg, 26 (2002), pp. 303-337
A. Alajlan, J. Shapiro, J.K. Rivers, N. MacDonald, J. Wiggin, H. Lui.
Paradoxical hypertrichosis after laser epilation.
J Am Acad Dermatol, 53 (2005), pp. 85-88
I. Galadari.
Comparative evaluation of different hair removal lasers in skin types IV, V, and VI.
International J Dermatol, 42 (2003), pp. 68-70
N. Bouzari, H. Tabatabai, Z. Abbasi, A. Firooz, Y. Dowlati.
Laser hair removal: comparison of long-pulsed Nd:YAG, long-pulsed alexandrite, and long-pulsed diode lasers.
Dermatol Surg, 30 (2004), pp. 498-502
C.C. Dierickx, M.C. Grossman, W.A. Farinelli, R.R. Anderson.
Comparison between a long pulsed ruby laser and a pulsed, infrared laser system for hair removal.
Lasers Surg Med, (1998), pp. 42
T.S. Alster.
Prolonged clinical experience with laser assisted hair removal: a clinical comparison of systems.
Laser Surg Med, (1999), pp. 14-15
C.A. Nanni, T.S. Alster.
Efficacy of multiple hair removal sessions using the QS Nd:YAG, long-pulsed ruby, and long-pulsed alexandrite laser systems.
Laser Surg Med, (1998), pp. 40
Copyright © 2009. Academia Española de Dermatología y Venereología and Elsevier España, S.L.
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Article options
es en

¿Es usted profesional sanitario apto para prescribir o dispensar medicamentos?

Are you a health professional able to prescribe or dispense drugs?