Background: Excessive hair on the face is a significant cause for distress amongst women. Permanent hair reduction methods including lasers and pulsed light devices are increasingly being used. Aims: The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of near infrared pulsed light source for permanent hair reduction in women seeking treatment for excessive hair growth on the upper lip and chin. Settings and Design: This was a prospective observational study done at a tertiary care hospital in South India. Materials and Methods: Women above 18 years of age were observed for six sittings of the treatment for excessive hair over the upper lip and chin using a near infrared intense pulsed light device. Efficacy was evaluated by measuring percentage hair reduction using digital photography. Further, efficacy amongst women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) was compared with those without PCOS. Side effects were noted. Statistical Analysis Used: Student's unpaired t-test using the software SPSS version 16. Results: Percentage hair reduction at the end of 6 sittings in 24 women for the upper lip and chin was 52.87% and 73.81%, respectively. Out of the 24 women, 12 had PCOS and the difference in hair reduction in these women was statistically insignificant when compared to that observed in those without PCOS. Only two patients experienced side effects in the form of mild pain and discomfort. Conclusions: Intense pulsed light is a safe and efficacious tool for permanent hair reduction over the upper lip and chin, efficacy being similar in patients with or without PCOS.
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