There have been several studies published on the side effects of laser hair removal, but none specifically looked at acneform reactions. The aim of this study is to obtain an accurate assessment of the incidence of acneform reactions after laser hair removal in relation to skin type, laser type, site of treatment, polycystic ovarian syndrome history (PCOS), age, and sex of the patient. This is a multi-centre prospective study of patients presenting for laser hair removal. Data were gathered using a questionnaire completed by the staff who performed the treatment. The incidence of acneform reactions was 6%. The following variables showed a statistically significant effect on the percentage of patients with reactions: age, with younger patients more likely to develop lesions; those treated with the Nd:YAG laser type were more likely to develop lesions than those treated with the alexandrite; and the Fitzpatrick skin type V showed the highest incidence of acneform lesions, followed by skin types II and IV. History of PCOS, number of prior treatments, use of aloe vera cooling gel, and the sex of the patient had no apparent effect on the incidence of acneform lesions. Acneform reactions are relatively common after laser hair removal; however, in the majority of cases, the severity of the reaction was mild and lasted for a short duration.
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We are grateful to all the Lasercare staff who collected the data used in this study, and Dr. C J O’Callaghan, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada for the statistical analysis.
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Carter, J.J., Lanigan, S.W. Incidence of acneform reactions after laser hair removal. Lasers Med Sci 21, 82–85 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-006-0378-x