A review of monochromatic light devices for the treatment of alopecia areata

Abstract

There are many laser technologies that are being tested that claim to support hair regrowth for patients with alopecia areata (AA). In this paper, we will determine whether the body of evidence supports the use of devices using monochromatic light sources to treat AA. Articles were gathered from PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane database using these keywords: lasers, excimer laser, low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-level light therapy, alopecia, alopecia areata, and hair loss with a category modifier of English. Ten clinical trials and seven case reports/abstracts were assessed. Eight clinical trials and two case reports demonstrated hair regrowth with the 308-nm excimer laser/light in men, women, and children. One case report demonstrated hair regrowth with the ALBA 355® laser. One clinical trial and two case reports demonstrated hair regrowth with LLLT. While two case reports demonstrated hair regrowth with fractional laser therapy, one clinical trial showed no improvement. The 308-nm excimer laser is a safe and effective treatment for men, women, and children with refractory AA of the scalp and beard. Larger, double-blinded clinical trials should be conducted to compare excimer laser therapy to standard treatments. More data is needed to determine the efficacy of LLLT and fractional laser therapy in the treatment of AA.

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Darwin, E., Arora, H., Hirt, P.A. et al. A review of monochromatic light devices for the treatment of alopecia areata. Lasers Med Sci 33, 435–444 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-017-2412-6

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Keywords

  • Lasers
  • Excimer laser
  • Alopecia
  • Low-level light therapy
  • Alopecia areata