Laser hair removal in surgery
Lasers have been used since the mid-1990s for hair depilation to permanently reduce the number and thickness of hairs using a series of simple outpatient treatments. The first lasers had limitations as to which skin types could be safely treated, but newer systems can treat almost all patients. Laser hair removal is based on the principle of selective photothermolysis, using melanin as the target chromophore. Coarser, darker hair tends to absorb more energy and responds better than lighter fine hair. However, white and blonde hair do not respond to treatment as they lack melanin.
While laser hair removal is used extensively in cosmetic practice to remove unwanted hair in many areas it has also been used for the treatment of several medical conditions, including pilonidal sinus disease. To read more about its place in the effective healing of pilonidal abscess’s and sinuses, and reduction in the rate of recurrence as well as giving substantial symptomatic relief, please see my full article.
Lasers have been used in other inflammatory conditions such as hidradenitis suppurativa, a chronic, recurrent inflammation of the sweat glands that occurs most frequently in females in the genital and inframammary area; and less often in men, affecting the buttocks and perineal.
Other successful uses of laser treatment in the surgical patient include reducing the hair in peristomal skin, the scrotal skin prior to vaginoplasty in male-to-female gender reassignment, in inflammation around hair follicle (folliculitis) and ingrown hairs, as well on skin flaps in many sites.
Laser hair removal is a simple and effective treatment and could be considered in general urological and andrological practice. It would be good to discuss these potential uses in this blog so please leave any comments below.