Evaluation of safety and efficacy of variable pulsed light in the treatment of unwanted hair in 77 volunteers

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Several studies on hair removal with intense pulsed light (IPL) and various laser sources have been done, but adequate data on long-term follow up are scarce. The present uncontrolled prospective pilot study evaluated safety and long-term efficacy of variable pulsed light (VPL™) on hair removal in the face for medical and/or cosmetic indications.

Study design/material and methods

The VPL™ system (Energist Ltd, UK) was used for the treatment of hypertrichosis in the face, mainly hirsutism, in 77 female volunteers. The minimum follow-up time after the last treatment was 9 months (mean: 12.74 ± 2.87 months).


Over 50% of hair clearance was observed in 68 (88.3%) of all cases.


Erythema and leucotrichia were the most often associated side-effects encountered. Transient pigmentary changes were not reported.


The VPL™ System presents as a relatively efficient and safe treatment alternative for long-term removal of unwanted hair. It seems to be particularly effective in fair-skinned patients with dark hair (skin types II–III–IV). Adverse effects were minimal and transient and, in no patient, significant enough to interrupt treatment.

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