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Skin Care and Diseases

Hair removal - any updates



A while ago, you answered a question about laser hair removal. At the time, I guess it was new.

My wife is interested in removing a few hairs around her chin. In the past, she used electrolysis. Now, she said she's heard that laser is (somehow) better.

What's the current thought on laser vs electrolysis?



Laser hair removal is a wonderful option for patients with pigmented hair growth. White hairs and/or the so-called "peach fuzz" won't respond to lasers because the laser light has to be absorbed by melanin (the brown pigment) in order to work.

A number of treatment sessions are needed. Long term studies have been done for up to 4 years post treatment, showing little or no regrowth. Patients with underlying hormonal problems that cause excessive hair growth will have regrowth sooner. The procedure can be done with or without topical anesthetic.

If performed by trained dermatologists, it has a good safety and efficacy profile.

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Response by:

Elma D Baron, MD Elma D Baron, MD
Associate Professor of Dermatology
Director, Skin Study Center
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University