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Minoxidil Combined With Laser Treatment Improves Hair Condition in Androgenetic Alopecia

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The results showed that minoxidil with laser resulted in a slightly better dermoscopy score than minoxidil alone.

To evaluate the effectiveness of minoxidil versus minoxidil combined with fractional ablative erbium YAG laser in treating androgenetic alopecia, researchers performed a randomized, parallel-group trial of 30 male patients. Results of the study showed that both groups experienced statistically significant improvements in patient satisfaction, photography, and dermoscopy scores though the group receiving the combination therapy had a slightly higher dermoscopy score.1

sompob/AdobeStock

sompob/AdobeStock

Patients with moderate to severe scalp involvement were assigned to the intervention group or the control group. The intervention group received 1 mL of topical 5% minoxidil solution 2 times a day and 6 sessions of 2940-nm ablative fractional erbium YAG laser (Handpieces: 8 × 8 mm, pulse energy: 1500 mj/cm2, frequency: 3, pulse mode: short) with 2-week intervals.

The control group was treated with 1 mL of topical 5% minoxidil solution twice a day. Treatment for both groups continued for 6 months.

Treatment results were assessed by photography, dermoscopy, and patient satisfaction 24 weeks after the start of treatment. Photographs were taken at baseline and again after 6 months of treatment.

Photographs were taken in 4 vortex views and 2 dermatologists assessed severity based on a 7-point scale. Dermoscopy was performed from 3 areas of the scalp and evaluated on a 7-point scale. Patient satisfaction with treatment was also assessed on a 7-point scale.

Mean age of participants was 33.7 ± 8 years with a mean disease duration of 12.4 ± 8 years. The 2 groups were comparable in age, disease history, grade of hair loss, and disease duration.

Both groups achieved statistically significant improvement based on the evaluations of photographs, dermoscopy, and patient satisfaction. Researchers noted that, “The correlation test showed a negative correlation between disease duration and response to treatment, and the patients with a lower Hamilton–Norwood scale score and shorter duration of disease showed better responses to the treatment in both groups (p < 0.001).”

The group receiving the combination minoxidil and laser treatment had a higher dermoscopy score than patients receiving only minoxidil (P = .016). Patient satisfaction and photography scores were comparable.

Adverse events (AEs) included scalp itching and scalp itching with seborrheic dermatitis in the minoxidil-only group. In the group receiving the combination treatment, 2 patients complained of hair shaft damage, 1 experienced erythema and contact dermatitis, and 2 experienced mild burning. The number of AEs was similar between the groups.

The authors concluded that both groups experienced satisfactory improvement in hair conditions, but the group receiving minoxidil and laser treatment had a slightly better outcome.

Reference

  1. Mokhtari F, Zavare Z, Iraji F. Topical 5% minoxidil versus combined erbium YAG laser and topical 5% minoxidil in androgenetic alopecia: A randomized controlled trial. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2023;00:1-7. doi:10.1111/jocd.15955 

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