2018 Study Looks at the Effectiveness of Adding Laser Light Therapy to Minoxidil

A Iranian study published in July of 2018 has examined the effectiveness of using laser light therapy and minoxidil in the treatment of alopecia in both men and women. The study followed 50 patients ages 17-45 who exhibited androgenetic alopecia during 2014-2015. Patients were randomly placed into two different groups; one receiving laser light therapy with minoxidil, and one receiving minoxidil with placebo. The conclusion of the study was that low-level light therapy can help improve the recovery from androgenetic alopecia, while also improving overall satisfaction with treatment. 

METHODOLOGY

The study included 50 patients who were clinically diagnosed with androgenic alopecia, they were also screened from other factors that would contribute to hair loss. Those in the study group were randomly divided into two different groups; one group receiving the treatment, and one control group receiving the placebo. 

The group that was given the treatment received 20 drops of topical minoxidil 5% solution two times per day to use on the affected areas at home for 6 months. The treatment group was also given 2-3 20 minute sessions of low-level light therapy featuring 10-50 mw power and 785-nm wavelength for 24 months. The placebo group was given the same dosage of 5% minoxidil solution and a low-level light therapy laser comb that was switched off. The placebo group also followed treatment for 6 months. 

RESULTS

It was found that the percentage of recovery from androgenetic alopecia and the patients overall satisfaction with their treatment were significantly higher in the treatment group, when compared to the placebo group. The patients’ mean hair density and diameter were found to be higher in the treatment group when compared to the placebo group. 

The percentage of those who experienced recovery from androgenetic alopecia  was similar in both groups after 3 months of treatment; however, the treatment group experienced a significant percentage at 6, 9 and 12 months after the treatment. There was also a significant difference between the groups in terms of their satisfaction with the treatment, with the treatment group experiencing higher overall distraction. There was no significant difference between the treatment group and the placebo group in their overall hair count before the 3 and 6 month interval; however, there was a significant increase in the mean hair count for the treatment group after 9 and 12 months. There was also no significant difference between the two groups in their mean hair diameter, with the treatment group displaying significant increase after 12 months of treatment. 

CONCLUSION

As a new method of treatment, low-level light therapy can help improve the percentage of recovery from androgenetic alopecia and increase patients’ satisfaction with their treatment. Those patients who use low-level light therapy are 

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Faghihi, G., Mozafarpoor, S., Asilian, A., Mokhtari, F., Esfahani, A. A., Bafandeh, B., … & Hosseini, S. M. (2018). The effectiveness of adding low-level light therapy to minoxidil 5% solution in the treatment of patients with androgenetic alopecia. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, 84(5), 547.

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