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The effect of a 1550 nm fractional erbium-glass laser in female pattern hair loss.

BACKGROUND: Female pattern hair loss (FPHL) is the most common cause of hair loss in women, and its prevalence increases with advancing age. Affected women may experience psychological distress and social withdrawal. A variety of laser and light sources have been tried for treatment of hair loss, and some success has been reported.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy and safety of a 1550 nm fractional erbium-glass laser in treatment of female pattern hair loss.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty eight ethnic South Korean patients with varying degrees of FPHL were enrolled in the study. Patients received ten treatments with a 1550 nm fractional Er:Glass Laser (Mosaic, Lutronic Co., Ltd, Seoul, South Korea) at 2-weeks intervals using the same parameters (5-10 mm tip, 6 mJ pulse energy, 800 spot/cm(2) density, static mode). Phototrichogram and global photographs were taken at baseline and at the end of laser treatment, and analysed for changes in hair density and hair shaft diameter. Global photographs underwent blinded review by three independent dermatologists using a 7-point scale. Patients also answered questionnaires assessing hair growth throughout the study. All adverse effects were reported during the study.

RESULTS: Twenty seven patients completed a 5-month schedule of laser treatment. One patient was excluded during treatment due to occurrence of alopecia areata. At the initial visit, mean hair density was 100 ± 14/cm(2) , and mean hair thickness was 58 ± 12 μm. After 5 months of laser treatment, hair density showed a marked increase to 157 ± 28/cm(2) (P < 0.001), and hair thickness also increased to 75 ± 13 μm (P < 0.001). Global photographs showed improvement in 24 (87.5%) of the 27 patients. Two patients (7.4%) reported mild pruritus after laser treatment; however, these resolved within 2 h.

CONCLUSION: A 1550 nm fractional erbium-glass laser irradiation may be an effective and safe treatment option for women with female pattern hair loss.

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