Topical eflornithine hydrochloride improves the effectiveness of standard laser hair removal for treating pseudofolliculitis barbae: A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial

Yang Xia, Sunghun Cho, Robin S. Howard, Kurt L. Maggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB) significantly impacts the military population, especially deployed personnel. Objective: This study was designed to determine whether the addition of topical eflornithine to hair laser treatment would improve efficacy in treating PFB. Methods: This was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, paired (right and left neck) comparison study examining a combination of eflornithine and hair laser versus placebo and hair laser for the treatment of PFB. In all, 27 male patients with clinical PFB were treated with a long-pulsed neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser with an energy fluence of 25 to 30 J/cm2, a pulse duration of 20 to 30 milliseconds, and a 10-mm spot size to the entire bearded neck region. The laser treatment was performed every 4 weeks for a total of 16 weeks. Between laser treatments, patients applied eflornithine and placebo creams twice daily to opposite sides of the bearded neck region. The number of hairs and inflammatory papules were counted bilaterally at each visit. Results: The eflornithine side had a statistically significant decrease in the number of hairs and inflammatory papules compared with the placebo side. At 16 weeks, the eflornithine side had a median hair reduction of 99.5% from baseline (range 48.5%-100.0%), whereas the placebo side had an 85.0% median hair reduction from baseline (range 50.5%-94.5%), P less than.001. Limitations: Patients were not followed up beyond 16 weeks. Conclusion: The addition of topical eflornithine to hair laser treatment decreased hairs and inflammatory papules faster when compared with hair laser therapy alone in the treatment of PFB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-699
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume67
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • eflornithine hydrochloride
  • hair laser
  • pseudofolliculitis barbae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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