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Comparison of the Effect of Diode Laser Versus Intense Pulsed Light in Axillary Hair Removal

Ormiga, Patricia MD*; Ishida, Cleide Eiko MD*; Boechat, Alvaro PhD; Ramos-e-Silva, Marcia MD, PhD*

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000138
Original Articles

BACKGROUND Devices such as diode laser and intense pulsed light (IPL) are in constant development aiming at permanent hair removal, but there are few comparative studies between these technologies.

OBJECTIVE The objective was to comparatively assess axillary hair removal performed by diode laser and IPL and to obtain parameters of referred pain and evolution response for each method.

MATERIALS AND METHODS A comparative prospective, double-blind, and randomized study of axillary hair removal performed by the diode laser and IPL was conducted in 21 females. Six sessions were held with application of the diode laser in one axilla and the IPL in the other, with intervals of 30 days and follow-up of 6 months after the last session. Clinical photographs and digital dermoscopy for hair counts in predefined and fixed fields of the treated areas were performed before, 2 weeks after the sixth session, and 6 months after the end of treatment. A questionnaire to assess the pain was applied.

RESULTS The number of hair shafts was significantly reduced with the diode laser and IPL. The diode laser was more effective, although more painful than the IPL. No serious, adverse, or permanent effects were observed with both technologies.

CONCLUSION Both diode laser and the IPL are effective, safe, and able to produce lasting results in axillary hair removal.

*Sector of Dermatology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;

Fotomedicina Limited, São Paulo, Brazil

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Patricia Ormiga, MD, Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana 1417/207, 22070-01, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or e-mail:

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

The light sources used in this study were loaned by Palomar and Centro de Laser Ipanema. Dr. Ormiga received a grant from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

© 2014 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
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