ISHRS Press Release on Low Level Laser Therapy

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Low-Level Laser Therapy is Now a Do-It-Yourself Hair Loss Treatment

NEW YORK (October 16, 2003)– While lasers are best known as high-energy beams of coherent light that can cut through a variety of materials including human tissue, low-energy laser light has been found to be capable of modulating beneficial biologic effects in human, animal and plant cells. The biomodulating effects of low-level laser light on human cells has been adapted to medical uses such as enhanced wound healing and treatment of some types of pain, and to cosmetic uses associated with effects on human skin.

Low-level laser light has also been found to have biomodulating effects on human hair and hair follicles. The effectiveness of low-level laser light in hair restoration was described today by Martin Unger, MD, Toronto, Canada, in a presentation at the 11th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). The ISHRS is meeting October 15-19, 2003, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York City.

Clinical studies have shown that low-level laser light is effective both cosmetically and physiologically in hair restoration, Dr. Unger said. The cosmetic effects include improvements in hair sheen and strength, characteristics that enhance the perception of “fullness” in overall hair appearance. Physiologic effects on hair follicles observed in both men and women include (1) prevention of hair loss, and (2) stimulation of hair regrowth in areas of hair loss. Dr. Unger, a physician hair restoration specialist, is medical director of a firm that makes a hand-held low-level laser therapy device for home use in hair restoration (HairMAX LaserComb, Lexington International, Boca Raton, FL). The device is accepted as a Medical Device in Canada, and advertising is allowed to make therapeutic claims that it (1) increases strength of scalp hair in men and women, (2) prevents scalp hair loss in men and women, and (3) causes regrowth of scalp hair in men and women. In the United States it is accepted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a Cosmetic Laser Product. Approval by the FDA as a Medical Device is pending while appropriate clinical trials are completed. The device is also sold in other countries outside North America.

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