The Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) is a crystal used as a laser medium for solid-state lasers with the capability to reach deeper layers of skin tissue than other types of lasers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a neodymium YAG laser work?
The laser works by emitting a wavelength of high energy light, which, when focused on a specific skin condition, creates heat and destroys damaged or diseased cells.
What conditions does neodymium YAG laser treat?
- Vascular lesions
- Spider and thread veins in the face (cheek, temporal region, nasal dorsum, forehead) and legs.
- Vascular birthmark (capillary vascular malformation)
- Varicose veins
- Facial veins (telangiectasia)
- Hemangioma (vascular tumor)
- Pigmented lesions
- Brown age spots (solar lentigines)
- Naevus of Ota, naevus of Ito
- Mongolian spots
- Hori naevus
- Hair removal
What does a laser procedure involve?
We have our patients wear eye protection (opaque goggles) throughout the treatment session. Treatment consists of placing a handpiece against the surface of the skin and activating the laser. Many patients describe each pulse feeling like the snapping of a rubber band against the skin.
A topical anesthetic may be applied to the area but is not usually necessary; however, skin surface cooling is applied during procedures. Immediately following treatment, a cooling mask or ice pack will be applied to soothe the treated area. Care should be taken in the first few days following treatment to avoid scrubbing the area, and/or use of abrasive skin cleansers. During the course of treatment, patients should protect the area from sun exposure to reduce the risk of post-inflammatory pigmentation.
Are there any side effects of neodymium YAG laser treatment?
Side effects from Nd: YAG laser treatment are usually minor and may include:
- Pain during treatment (reduced by contact cooling and if necessary, topical anesthetic)
- Redness, swelling and itching immediately after the procedure that may last a few days after treatment
- Rarely, skin pigment may absorb too much light energy, and blistering can occur (this settles by itself)
- Changes in skin pigmentation. Sometimes the pigment cells (melanocytes) can be damaged, leaving darker (hyperpigmentation) or paler (hypopigmentation) patches of skin
How many laser treatments can I expect?
For Pigmentation: Depending on the type of pigmentation, treatment can range from 3 sessions up to 10 sessions. Maintenance therapy may be needed for severe cases.
For Vascular lesions: Treatment time depends on the form, size, and location of the lesions and the skin type. Small red vessels can usually be removed in only 1 to 3 sessions. Several sessions may be necessary to remove more prominent veins and spider veins.
For Hair Removal: In general, patients have 2 to 6 treatments, approximately every 4 to 6 weeks
Patients with darker skin types may require more treatments.