Less Pain, Equal Gain in Diode vs. IPL Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal

Patients who took part in a split-leg study comparing laser hair removal results using a low-fluence diode laser and high-fluence IPL device reported less pain with the diode-treated leg and equal results in terms of efficacy between the two modalities. The study, which appeared in the Autralasian Journal of Dermatology (August 2012), followed 30 Asian patients with dark hair and skin types III to IV. Subjects underwent three hair removal sessions at six week and eight week intervals. One leg was treated using a low-fluence diode laser with multiple passes; the other leg was treated with a single pass high-fluence IPL device. The patients were followed for 12 months postprocedure. The researchers, led by Dr. Meng-Hua Huo of the Plastic Surgery Hospital at Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, China, reported that all patients were satisfied with the results of their treatments. There were no long-term side effects and there was “no statistically significant difference in hair reduction and treatment time between the laser (76.85%, 21.39 minutes) and the IPL (74.53%, 22.17 minutes).” Using the visual analogue scale, the researchers did find that the pain score during IPL treatment was higher than during diode laser treatment (5.95 v. 3.10).

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