Long-term Facial and Body Hair Removal With a Combined Radiofrequency and Optical Home-Use Device for All Skin Types

May 2020 | Volume 19 | Issue 5 | Original Article | 498 | Copyright © May 2020

Published online April 24, 2020

Jerome M. Garden MD,a Brian Zelickson MD,b David Friedman MD,c Tuvia D. Kutscher DSc,d Doran M. Rozen,d Vince Afsahi MDe

aPhysicians Laser and Dermatology Institute, Chicago, IL bZel Skin & Laser Specialists, Edina, MN cLaserOr Clinic, Jerusalem, Israel dSyneron Medical, Yokneam Illit, Israel eSouth Coast Dermatology, Tustin, CA

Objectives: To evaluate long term effectiveness and safety with the use of a combined radiofrequency and optical home hair removal device in all skin types and over both facial and body areas.
Methods: A combined intense pulsed light (IPL) and radiofrequency (RF) home device was used for hair removal. Two separate study designs were evaluated. In the first design, bilateral body areas were treated with 7 weekly procedures and then unilateral areas received up to 12 monthly maintenance treatments while the corresponding other side received no further therapy. For the second design, facial areas received 4 procedures in 2 to 5 days visits, followed by 2 weekly, and then 6 biweekly procedures. All patients in both study designs had hair count evaluations up to 12 months post their last procedure. The highest energy used was 4 J/cm².
Results: In the first design, 58 subjects participated of which 15% were skin types V-VI. A total of 188 anatomical sites were treated. Hair reduction at 6 and 12 months post the last procedure was 56% and 52% respectively for the maintenance side and 47% and 37% for the non-maintenance side. For the second design, 19 subjects had 59 facial sites treated. Fifteen percent were skin types V –VI. The overall hair reduction at the end of receiving their procedures was 45%. At 12 months post the last procedure, the hair reduction was 42%. Aside for transient mild erythema, there were no adverse effects noted.
Conclusions: Long term persistent hair reduction was achieved using an RF/IPL home-use hair reduction device. The combination of RF and optical energies allowed for the effective application of low energy usage. All skin types and both facial and body anatomical regions tolerated the procedures very well.

J Drugs Dermatol. 2020;19(5):498-503. doi:10.36849/JDD.2020.4741


Current in-office laser and light-based hair removal devices effectively provide a long-term solution for unwanted hair removal.1 These in-office systems generally use high energies to deliver effective long-term hair reduction. Clinical studies have reported significant hair reduction at low radiant exposures customized for home-use.2 Permanent hair reduction over legs of skin types I-IV, following diode laser treatment with a home-use device, has been reported in the literature.3 Significant hair reduction at 6-months follow-up after treatment of unwanted body and facial hair of skin types I–III4 and after treatment of non-facial sites of skin types I–IV5,6 with intense pulsed light (IPL) home-use systems has also been demonstrated. In a short-term home hair removal study, a home hair removal device, integrating optical (IPL) energy with bipolar radio frequency (RF) energy, has been shown to be effective and safe for the removal of body hair in all skin types (I-VI).7 The current study examines an IPL-RF home-use device to achieve safe, long-term hair reduction of both facial and body hair in all skin types. In a previous study, subjects performed seven weekly treatments with the IPL-RF home-use device and underwent hair counts at one and three months after the seventh treatment.7 In this study, the patients were exposed to as many as 12 additional monthly maintenance treatments after completing seven treatments and then evaluated up to 12 months after completing their extended therapy. In addition, we studied facial areas for safety and efficacy using the device in a separate accelerated treatment protocol which also was evaluated 12 months after completion of all therapy.


Subjects were from 18–65 years of age and have naturally brown or black hair. All skin types were eligible for enrollment. Both facial and non-facial areas were treated. Exclusion criteria