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Neodymium (Nd:YAG) laser hair removal

The primary advantage of the Nd:YAG laser is that can be used for people with tan or dark skin.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: June 26, 2012

Treatment Basics

Other names: YAG stands for Yttrium Aluminium Garnet

The neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser, aka the Nd:YAG laser, has a particularly long wavelength of 1064 nanometers, which causes it to bypass the top layer of skin and head straight for underlying tissues, where many skin problems begin. (Because it doesn't affect the outermost layer of the skin, the Nd:YAG is known as a non-ablative laser.)

What It's Good For

Because it works below the top layer of skin, the Nd:YAG laser can be used to remove hair and address under-the-skin concerns like spider veins or skin discoloration.

The Nd:YAG can be used to treat any and all body parts - including, but not limited to, the face, arms, legs, chest, abdomen, and neck.

The Nd:YAG lasers used for hair removal and vein treatment are longer pulse lasers. There is another, shorter pulse Nd:YAG laser that is used for tattoo removal.

Who it works for: The Nd:YAG laser can be used on practically any skin type, but its primary advantage is that the laser is minimally absorbed by the skin's melanin. It can be used for hair removal or vein treatment by people with tanned to dark skin (Fitzpatrick types IV to VI).

Recommended age range: There is no age limit or requirement for using the Nd:YAG laser.

When will I see results?: Depending on what you're treating, results from Nd:YAG lasers may slowly appear in the coming days and weeks and take several treatments to achieve.

For laser hair removal, the Nd:YAG may fry your follicle in under an hour, but it can take up to two weeks for the wilted hair to fall out.

You may need between three and 10 repeat treatments to clear your skin of whatever concern you're looking to remove.

How long it lasts: Hair is reduced or eliminated for about six months with the Nd:YAG laser. For birthmarks, discolorations and veins, the laser can lighten or remove existing marks, but it won't prevent newer ones from growing.

Key benefits of Neodymium (Nd:YAG) laser hair removal: Of the available lasers, the Nd:YAG is least likely to cause skin discoloration. It is one of the few lasers usable by dark-skinned people.

Find experts who offer Neodymium (Nd:YAG) laser hair removal near you