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The Effect of Laser Hair Removal on Permanent Hair Reduction

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jeffrey S. Orringer, University of Michigan Identifier:
First received: January 17, 2006
Last updated: April 29, 2015
Last verified: April 2015
The purpose of this study is to learn more about how hair removal with lasers achieves, what appears to be, permanent hair reduction. Laser hair removal has become one of the most popular and commonly performed procedures in cosmetic dermatology. However, relatively little is known about how the permanent reduction in the treated areas occurs. Recently, it has been discovered that certain cells in the hair follicle must be destroyed in order to achieve permanent hair reduction. A marker of these types of cells known as keratin 15 has been identified. By measuring the amount of keratin 15 before and after laser therapy, we hope to gain a better understanding of how lasers cause hair reduction on a biochemical level.

Condition Intervention Phase
Laser Hair Removal in Healthy Subjects
Procedure: Laser Hair Removal
Phase 1
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Effect of Laser Hair Removal on Markers of Follicular Stem Cells

Further study details as provided by University of Michigan:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • measurement of the effects of laser hair removal on the immunohistochemical staining properties of human hair follicles, including the putative stem cells of the bulge region.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Hair Removal

Estimated Enrollment: 60
Study Start Date: January 2005
Study Completion Date: June 2006
Detailed Description:

Laser hair removal has become one of the most popular and commonly performed procedures in cosmetic dermatology. However, relatively little is known about the mechanisms involved in achieving what clinically appears to be permanent reduction in hair density in treated areas. We postulate that in order to achieve permanent hair reduction, stem cells located in the bulge region of the follicle must be destroyed. Recently, a marker of follicular stem cells (keratin 15) has been identified and noted to be detectable using immunohistochemical techniques. In addition, several other immunohistochemical markers for various components of the hair follicle are available.

We propose to quantitatively measure the effects of laser hair removal on the immunohistochemical staining properties of treated follicles with respect to keratin 15 and other follicular markers. We hypothesize that the degree of such staining will be greatly reduced following laser therapy, thus providing, to our knowledge, the first biochemical evidence to support permanence of the treatment's effects.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Age 18 years or older of either gender.
  2. At least moderately dense axillary (armpit) hair that is dark (not blonde or white) in color.
  3. Subjects must understand and sign the informed consent documents prior to participation.
  4. Subjects must be in generally good health.
  5. Subjects must be willing and able to comply with the requirements of the protocol
  6. You must live within a reasonable driving distance of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and/or be able to attend all of the scheduled appointments during the study.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Oral retinoid use within one year of study entry.
  2. History of prior laser therapy or electrolysis of the axillae.
  3. Subjects who do not desire permanent reduction in axillary hair.
  4. Non-compliant subjects.
  5. Pregnant or nursing subjects.
  6. Subjects with a significant medical history or concurrent illness/condition that the investigator(s) feel is not safe for study participation.
  7. Active infection of the site to be treated or a history of herpes simplex or zoster infection at the site to be treated.
  8. History of keloid scar formation.
  9. Known history of allergy or sensitivity to lidocaine.
  10. History of waxing, plucking, or bleaching of the hair for 6 weeks prior to the treatment.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00279643

United States, Michigan
University of Michigan Department of Dermatology
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, 48109
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Michigan
Study Chair: John J Voorhees, MD University of Michigan
  More Information

Responsible Party: Jeffrey S. Orringer, Professor of Dermatology, Medical School, University of Michigan Identifier: NCT00279643     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Derm 543
Study First Received: January 17, 2006
Last Updated: April 29, 2015

Keywords provided by University of Michigan:
immunohistochemical staining
Laser Hair Removal
follicular stem cells
keratin 15 processed this record on April 28, 2017