Before You Go
Questions to ask your doctor:
- Is it possible to combine Nd:YAG laser treatments with other, presumably less painful treatments, if I decide I'm unhappy with the outcome after one or two sessions?
- Are there any at-home remedies that will accelerate the laser process in between treatment sessions?
Pre-procedure prep for Neodymium (Nd:YAG) laser hair removal: Accutane should not be used for six months prior to laser hair removal with Nd:YAG lasers, since the oral medication can make your skin more sensitive to the zaps.
You should also avoid any hair removal techniques that lift the hair from the root - i.e. waxing, tweezing, and Nair. Your razor may become your new best friend.
On the day of treatment: If you are using the Nd:YAG for hair removal, you may be asked to shave the treatment site prior to your appointment.
What To Expect
Nd:YAG lasers are handheld devices that look like vacuum cleaners with a laser tip in place of a suctioning device. Physicians can easily control the handheld laser tip as it jumps from one spot to the next. Each time the laser comes in contact with your skin, it emits a strong flash of light--one that you'll definitely feel!
Who should do it: Nd:YAG laser devices can be purchased and operated by licensed physicians. Non-MDs can be specially certified in laser treatment depending on the state.
Duration: The treatment takes up to an hour if you are using topical anesthesia.
How Painful Is It?
Treatment with the 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser can be markedly painful (more so than other lasers) as the beams of energy penetrate deep into the skin.
To better soothe your skin during the procedure, devices like the GentleYAG, CoolGlide, and Apogee Elite use a cooling device to supplement each flash of light.
Options for anesthesia: Topical anesthetics may lessen discomfort from the Nd:YAG laser.