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Hirsutism – Information for GPs

Intense Pulse Light (IPL), Laser or Electrolysis for Hair removal for the treatment of Hirsutism or other Hair removal requests

Referral criteria / commissioning position

Requests for IPL, Laser or Electrolysis for Hirsutism or other hair removal requests are not routinely commissioned; all cases require prior approval via the Individual Funding Request (IFR) panel

Investigations prior to referral


Information to include in referral letter

  • Details of how the patient demonstrates clinical exceptionality
  • Impact on activities of daily living
  • Treatments and interventions tried including the results
  • Drug history (prescribed and non-prescribed)
  • Relevant past medical / surgical history
  • Current regular medication
  • BMI


1 Radmanesh M, Azar-Beig M, Abtahian A, Naderi AH. Burning, paradoxical hypertrichosis, leukotrichia and folliculitis are four major complications of intense pulsed light hair removal therapy Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 2008, vol./is. 19/6 (360-3) 2) Rasheed AI. Uncommonly reported side effects of hair removal by long pulsed-alexandrite laser. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2009, vol./is. 8/4(267-74) 3) Azziz R. The evaluation and management of hirsutism. Obstet Gynecol 2003; 101: 995–1007. 4) Haedersdal M, Gotzsche PC. Laser and photoepilation for unwanted hair growth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006;(4):CD004684

5) NHS Modernisation Agency. ‘Action on plastic surgery. Referrals and guidelines in plastic surgery. Information for Commissioners of Plastic Surgery Services’. 6) NICE Clinical Knowledge Summary (Jan 2010) 7) Koulouri O, Conway G. S. Management of hirsutism. BMJ 2009;338:b847 8) NHS Choices – Treatment for Piloidal Sinus

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