There is no published data on the use of microwaves delivered in this manner for hair removal. On October 25, 1999, FDA stated:
"The Microwave Medical Corporation, Microwave Delivery System (Model MMC-300) is designed for the removal of unwanted body hair except on facial areas. [emphasis FDA’s]
This device is not for use on facial areas. Clinical data to date is not sufficient to demonstrate safety or effectiveness on facial areas."
Several reports in recent years have raised concerns about the unknown risks of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation taken in concentrated doses to the head and near the eyes. Microwaves have been clinically proven to cause permanent eye damage in some subjects.
I would urge all practitioners and patients to avoid this device for any type of hair removal until there is more data on safety and efficacy.
Published medical data
No published medical data to date
Spertell (2000): Promotional material from the manufacturer containing four unpublished reports, most likely the ones submitted to FDA for clearance.
Microwave hair removal should not be performed on the face or near the eyes. There is medical documentation that exposure to microwave radiation can cause cataracts and other eye injury. There has been no data published or presented to FDA to ensure that this method of hair removal will not cause eye damage. Below are selected medical articles on microwaves causing eye damage, and programs set up by the US government to address microwave safety issues.
Please note that this device has been cleared as safe for non-facial use by FDA, but that side effects due to use on the face long-term effects constitute an unknown risk.
Roberts (1985): Overview of microwave eye damage.
Lipman (1988): Microwaves and cataracts.
Cutz (1989): Overview of microwave eye damage.
FDA (1996): Discusses programs initiated to address epidemiological reports suggesting that EMF may play a role in cancer promotion.
FCC (1999): Discusses potential hazardous effects of EMF radiation in human tissue.