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Laser hair removal: comparison of long-pulsed Nd:YAG, long-pulsed alexandrite, and long-pulsed diode lasers.

BACKGROUND: Advances in laser technology over the past several years have led to the development of numerous lasers for the treatment of unwanted hair. Laser wavelength is a key factor influencing treatment efficacy and complication rates.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy and safety of laser hair removal using three different laser systems.

METHODS: A retrospective study of 805 consecutive laser-assisted hair removal treatments, conducted on 75 patients by means of either a long-pulsed Nd:YAG, a long-pulsed alexandrite, or a long-pulsed diode laser is reported. All patients were evaluated at least 3 months after the last treatment, and their present conditions were compared with the 1st-day photographs.

RESULTS: The mean hair reduction was 42.4%, 65.6%, and 46.9% in Nd:YAG, alexandrite, and diode lasers, respectively. When the number of treatment sessions was taken into account, the efficacy of alexandrite and diode lasers was not significantly different, whereas both systems were more efficacious than Nd:YAG. Neither of the laser systems showed better results for a particular skin type. The occurrence of side effects was not significantly different between three laser systems.

CONCLUSION: Both long-pulsed alexandrite and long-pulsed diode laser systems are effective in the treatment of unwanted hair, and they are more efficacious than Nd:YAG laser.

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