Comparison of the efficacy and safety of three different depilatory methods

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Three methods of electrical energy-based depilation were compared for safety and efficacy.


Ten volunteers had one treatment with each device followed by weekly observations up to 9 weeks. The protocol used was basically that of the International Guild of Professional Electrologists, which is used to define "permanent" hair removal.


Radio frequency tweezers, direct current tweezers and needle based electrolysis all demonstrated statistically significant reductions in hair counts after 9 weeks of 60.3%, 65.8% and 55.9%, respectively. The differences between the treatments were not statistically significant. However, large differences in side effects and pain scores existed. Both tweezer type epilators induced pain rated at 13/100 on a visual analogue scale while the needle based depilator induced significant pain at 59/100. Furthermore, acute inflammation and late scarring was seen only following treatment with the electrolysis needle.


The tweezer-type epilators are as effective as needle-based electrolysis but without the pain and side effects of the latter.

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