ASDS: Laser Hair Removal On the Rise

June 30, 2015

More patients are seeking laser treatments to permanently remove unwanted hair, a new American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) survey shows.

About 633,000 laser hair removal procedures were performed by ASDS members last year – a 27 percent increase from 2013 and a 51 percent climb from 2012, according to the recently released 2014 ASDS Survey on Dermatologic Procedures.

ASDS member H.L. Greenberg, MD, thinks greater public awareness about laser hair removal—whether from increased publicity or word-of-mouth—is making a difference.

“What was once a novel idea is now a sensible convenience,” he said.

Dr. Greenberg said women between the ages of 19 and 36 and men between 18 and 45 most frequently take advantage of laser hair removal. He said women are motivated to seek treatments to eliminate hair from their underarms and along their bikini lines, while men are more focused on tidying the appearance of their backs and necks.

Laser hair removal was originally recommended for dark hairs on light skin, but ASDS President George J. Hruza, MD, MBA, said newer technologies have made it safer and more effective for patients with a range of complexions and hair colors.

Most of the lasers and light sources are FDA-cleared for permanent hair reduction. Some patients see long-term hair removal; others may require maintenance treatments over time.

“Traditional hair removal routines can be tedious and painful,” Dr. Hruza said. “Rather than be stuck in a frustrating cycle of shaving, tweezing or waxing, many people prefer the convenience and longer-lasting impact of laser hair removal.”

Data were collected for the 2014 experience and generalized to represent all ASDS members. The survey was conducted Jan. 2 to Feb. 6, 2015, for data reported in 2014. The survey link was sent to 3,980 practicing members. Survey results are reported based on 826 physicians, or a 21 percent response rate.

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