Alopecia: A review of laser and light therapies

    February 2012 in “Dermatology Online Journal
    Sophia Rangwala, Rashid M Rashid
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    TLDR Lasers might help hair growth in some alopecia cases, but more research is needed to confirm their effectiveness and safety.
    In 2012, Sophia Rangwala and Rashid M Rashid reviewed the use of laser and light therapies for treating alopecia, specifically androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata. They found that laser technology, used since the 1980s for various skin conditions, could induce hair growth. The HairMax Laser Comb® had received FDA clearance in 2007 for treating androgenetic alopecia, but there was a lack of independent, peer-reviewed blinded clinical trials supporting this. The 308 nm excimer laser was highlighted as a potential effective and safe alternative for alopecia areata patients resistant to conventional therapies. The review also suggested that lasers could be used as auxiliary devices for hair transplantation. However, no laser treatments for alopecia were FDA-approved at the time. The authors concluded that more randomized controlled trials were needed to assess these laser devices and to establish optimal therapeutic parameters.
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