Research Article| Volume 60, ISSUE 4, P426-431, April 2007

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Laser hair removal in women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Published:January 17, 2007DOI:


      Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common reasons for women to present seeking removal of facial hair, particularly within the UK National Health Service (NHS). In the NHS, there is geographical variation in the number of laser treatments available to women with PCOS, with some units limiting patients to six treatments whilst others allow unlimited treatments. This study aims to assess the effect of number of treatments on women with PCOS.


      This study prospectively assessed hair counts, hair-free intervals and patient satisfaction in 60 women with PCOS undergoing 3 ms pulse duration alexandrite laser treatment.


      Following six treatments there was a mean 31±38% reduction in hair counts (mean±SD; P=0.001). Mean hair-free interval (HFI) increased steadily with treatment, from 1.9 weeks after six treatments to 4.3 weeks after 10 treatments (P=0.001). From the postal questionnaire, after an average of 12 treatments, 31% of patients had a HFI longer than 6 weeks compared to only 2.6% after six treatments (P=0.003). Overall, despite the low hair count reductions, 95% of patients were satisfied with treatment.


      In women with PCOS, laser treatment is associated with a poorer than expected reduction in hair counts and HFI following treatment. However, offering more than six treatments does have additional benefits in terms of prolonging HFI and overall patient satisfaction with treatment is very high.


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