What are Pros and Cons of Laser Therapy at Home vs. Doctor’s Office?

April 19th, 2007

Q: I heard that you can buy a laser for hair loss and use it at home. What are the advantages or disadvantages of doing this?

A: The advantages of home use are convenience and that it is generally less expensive than going to a doctor’s office for treatment.

The main disadvantage of using laser treatments without a doctor’s supervision is that a more effective treatment for hair loss may be available and you may not know about it. By spending time using the laser, the window for a more effective treatment may be missed. A good example is the 20 year old male who has extensive hair loss in his family and is just starting to thin. It is very important for this person to start Propecia (finasteride) as soon as possible, since the long-term benefits of using this medication are well established.

Laser treatment at home, without a prior evaluation by a physician, also risks missing the diagnosis of an underlying medical condition. This can be a particular problem in women where hair loss tends to be diffuse and the cause may not be readily apparent. If the cause of the thinning was due to anemia, thyroid, or ovarian disease, the diagnoses of these treatable conditions might be missed.

Finally, the laser therapy available in a doctor’s office may be significantly more effective than a home unit.

Read more about Laser Therapy for Hair Loss

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Posted by Robert M. Bernstein M.D. on April 19th, 2007 at 5:58 am


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