Effect of intense pulsed light treatment on human skinin vitro: analysis of immediate effects on dermal papillae and hair follicle stem cells

    October 2013 in “British Journal of Dermatology
    Danielle Larouche, Dong Hyun Kim, Gilles Ratté, Clément Beaumont, Lucie Germain
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    TLDR Intense pulsed light treatment mainly damages pigmented hair parts but spares stem cells, allowing hair to regrow.
    The study from 2013 investigated the effects of intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment on human scalp specimens, particularly on hair follicle stem cells and dermal papillae. Histological analysis revealed that IPL primarily damaged pigmented structures within the hair follicles, such as the hair shaft and matrix cells, while sparing white hairs and the epidermis. High-energy IPL treatments were required to damage dermal papilla cells, but stem cells were mostly unaffected. The findings suggest that IPL treatment selectively targets pigmented hair structures and that hair can regrow after treatment because stem cells are preserved. This research provides insight into the clinical outcomes of IPL hair removal and the importance of protecting epithelial stem cells for skin health.
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