Infrared Plus Minoxidil Superior to Minoxidil Alone at Growing Hair

The effectiveness of adding low-level light therapy to minoxidil 5% solution in the treatment of patients with androgenetic alopecia

785 nm

10-50 mW/cm^2

1200 s treatment

Researchers tested 785 nm (infrared) light on balding patients aged 17 to 45 years old.

The treated group received 5% minoxidil solution and infrared light therapy two times per day.

The control group received 5% minoxidil and a sham LED treatment device.

Researchers tested hair patient satisfaction,  hair density and hair growth.

At 12 months, the patients getting both minoxidil and LED ligh therapy were singificantly happier with their hair growth than the sham group.

Materials and methods: This clinical trial included 50 patients aged 17-45 presenting to Khorshid and Alzahra educational centers and skin diseases research center for androgenetic alopecia during 2014-2015. The patients were randomly divided into a control and a case group. The case group received topical minoxidil 5% solution plus low-level light therapy twice per day. The control group was given the same topical solution and a laser comb system that was turned off to act as a placebo. Changes in patients’ hair density and diameter and its overall regrowth as well as their satisfaction with the treatment were assessed at months 0 (baseline), 3, 6, 9 and 12.

Results: The percentage of recovery from androgenetic alopecia and the patients’ satisfaction with their treatment were significantly higher in the case group compared to the control group. The patients’ mean hair density and diameter were found to be higher in the case group after the intervention compared to the control group.

Limitations: The study limitations included patient compliance, small sample size, patient insight due to novelty of the method and clinical judgement.

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.

Keywords: Androgenetic alopecia; lowlevel light therapy; minoxidil; recovery.

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