Hair removal with lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) is considered safe. However, data on the efficacy and safety of these procedures specifically in the pediatric population remain sparse. To determine the efficacy and safety of lasers and IPL for hair reduction in children and adolescents, a systematic review was conducted of original studies evaluating hair removal with lasers or IPL in patients aged less than 18 years. Primary outcome measures were efficacy and safety of treatment. The literature review yielded 2 retrospective cohort studies and 11 case reports/case series including a total of 71 patients aged 9 months to 17 years. Diagnoses ranged from localized lumbosacral to generalized hypertrichosis. Six treatment modalities were evaluated: alexandrite, Nd:YAG, Q-switched Nd:YAG, ruby, and diode lasers and IPL. Only one of the cohort studies (n = 28), using the ruby laser, provided efficacy data. The results showed a 63% hair loss in 89% of patients after completion of treatment, although partial regrowth was evident during 6 to 32 weeks of follow-up. Most of the case reports and case series (10/11) reported significant hair reduction following laser and IPL treatments. None of the patients experienced scarring or dyspigmentation. Some kind of pain management was necessary in 65% of patients; 25% required general anesthesia. On the basis of the limited available data which consisted primary of case reports and case series, lasers and IPL might be effective for pediatric hair reduction. Recurrence following treatment may be higher in children than adults, and pain control may be a limiting factor.
- Hair removal
- Intense pulsed light