Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB), more commonly known as ‘ingrown hairs’ or ‘beard bumps,’ is an inflammatory skin condition caused when the hair grows back into the skin tissue. Commonly seen in particular among African-American men and associated with shaving, this condition includes the development of painful pustules and papules.
Traditional methods of depilation or the use of topicals can cause irritation and significant treatment pain. In recent years, Nd:YAG (1064nm) lasers have been employed to treat PFB, given their ability to selectively target melanin and the resultant destruction of follicles and hair shafts that con- tribute to the problem. However, traditional Nd:YAG lasers have been painful and concerns of pigmentary changes on darker skin types have held people back.
The Neo medical-aesthetic laser has changed the landscape with respect to PFB treatment, combining the ability to efficiently treat the condition without pain and with an industry-lead- ing safety margin for laser usage on Fitzpatrick Skin Types IV-VI. This is enabled by the laser’s 650 Microsecond Technology®, through which the necessary fluence for the treatment is delivered in a safe pulse duration of 650-microseconds – below the thermal relaxation time of the skin tissue. As a result, the bulk of the laser energy passes straight through to the targeted deep dermal region with only limit- ed laser energy absorbed in epidermal melanin – thus avoiding the pain and the need for skin cool- ing that are associated with ultra long-pulse Nd:YAG lasers.
“PFB represents a serious problem for many of my patients,” said Arthur Sumrall, MD, a dermatologist who practices in Indianapolis, IN. “This led me to evaluate all of the technologies on the market. After a thorough evaluation, the best choice proved to be the Neo from Aerolase, with its 650-microsecond technology. The laser delivered high treatment efficacy coupled with very low patient discomfort – the majority of my patients tolerated up to 30 joules/cm2 without the use of any anesthetic. Patients showed visible improvement even after a single procedure.”
“In our experience, the Neo benefits patients by providing a wavelength that is safe for darker skin types,” said Michael Gold, MD, Dermatologist and founder of The Gold Skin Care Center in Nashville, TN. “The use of a pulse duration shorter than the relaxation time of dermal cells allows efficient, long-lasting and virtually pain-free hair removal, which can be critical to patient acceptance of the procedure.” “I also like the way this laser’s collimated lens allows the operator to work at any distance from the area being treated,” said Dr. Gold.