An evaluation of the efficacy of a 1064-nm neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (Nd:YAG) laser using lower than traditional fluences (22-40 J/cm2) for treatment of pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) was completed by the Dermatology Department of the Naval Medical Center San Diego, San Diego, California.

Twenty-two (22) patients with PFB refractory to conservative therapy received five weekly treatments over the anterior neck using a 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser at 12 J/cm2. Pulse duration was 20 ms with 10 mm spot size. Topical anesthesia was not used. Treatments were completed 15 minutes after patient arrival. Patients presented for 2- and 4-week follow-up. Ten evaluators used a Global Assessment Scale (GAS) to assess dyspigmentation, papule counts, and cobblestoning by comparing baseline to 4-week follow-up visit photographs. Hair and papule counts were performed on five patients and compared with the GAS. Investigators recorded adverse effects using a visual analog and side effects scale.

RESULTS

Eleven (11) patients demonstrated 83% improvement on the GAS (p<.01). There was a mean reduction of 59.5% in dyspigmentation (p<.03), 91.2% in papule count (p<.01), and 75.6% in cobblestoning (p<.02). Patients reported 1 out of 10 on both adverse effects scales.

CONCLUSION

Low-fluence 1064-nm laser treatment achieved significant temporary reduction in PFB. Subjects noted minimal pain without topical anesthesia.

Source: Dermatologic Surgery, Volume 35, Number 1, January 2009 , pp. 98-107(10)