FDA's Richard Felten on laser results

Cited in:

Light fantastic
Improved therapies can remove or diminish lines, wrinkles, tattoos and scars, with fewer side effects.
August 27, 2004

One of the most common areas of abuse is in hair removal. Countless spas and clinics advertise “permanent” hair removal with laser treatment, but the FDA hasn’t approved a single laser for permanent hair loss, said Richard Felten, senior reviewer for the FDA division that considers such requests.

At best, the only claim that can be made legally is long-term or permanent hair reduction.

That’s because hair follicles are regenerative, and there’s always a chance hair will grow back, Felten said. “There’s some evidence you can get up to a 70 percent decrease in hair count that lasts up to a year, and some have reported lightening or thinning of hair, but it varies from patient to patient and from device to device,” he said.

For some, though, light therapy is nothing short of a miracle.