According to research conducted by Peter C. Minneci, M.D., Chair of Surgery at Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware Valley, and published in JAMA Surgery, laser epilation (laser hair removal) reduces the risk of pilonidal disease recurrence in patients.
Pilonidal disease is an inflammatory and painful, sometimes chronic, recurring condition. The disease occurs because of the formation of cysts between the buttocks. Moreover, the disease occurs in 26 to 100 per 100,000 people and is most common in young adults and adolescents. In addition, sedentary lifestyles and obesity are risk factors.
The disease recurs about 33% of the time, and 80% of recurrence happens within a year of initial treatment. Moreover, the recurrence contributes to psychological stress in patients. They may miss school and avoid social activities, for example, sports. Minneci explains that pilonidal cysts may become infected, and patients take antibiotics or undergo surgery.
Treatment of Pilonidal Disease
The standard treatment involves the removal of the hair with a razor or cream. In addition, the recommendation is to keep the area clean. And, in recent years, doctors have used laser hair removal techniques to keep the disease at bay.
In this study, Minneci and colleagues aimed to assess the effectiveness of laser epilation for the prevention of recurrence within a year of initial treatment.
The researchers enrolled 302 patients between the ages of 11 and 21. Half of them were assigned laser epilation with standard treatment, whereas half received only standard treatment.
After a year, 10.4% of the patients who received laser epilation with standard treatment experienced a recurrence. Moreover, 33.6% of the patients in the latter group who only received standard treatment experienced recurrence. However, no significant differences were seen in terms of complications, disability days, satisfaction with healthcare, or perceived stigma.
He also added,