Millisecond Nd:YAG lasers (1064 nm) used for hair removal include:
— VascuLight (Lumenis, Santa Clara, CA)
The longer Nd:YAG laser wavelength provides deeper penetration, a necessary factor in the attempt to achieve optimal laser hair removal results. In addition, the 1064-nm wavelength is relatively less absorbed by epidermal melanin than are the 694- to 810-nm wavelengths. It is this decreased melanin absorption that leads to the greater pigmented epidermal safety seen with these systems.
Although the 1064-nm wavelength is less well absorbed by melanin than shorter wavelengths, the absorption appears to be enough to achieve the selective photothermolysis of the pigmented hair follicle (Lin et al. 1998). The use of appropriate fluences and effective epidermal cooling devices leads to an effective hair removal device with little risk of complications when such lasers are used correctly. Although the relatively low melanin absorption would appear to be a disadvantage in the treatment of pigmented hair, the Nd:YAG laser's advantage is its ability to reduce the thermal damage of the laser-treated melanin containing epidermis. Thus, side effects are decreased in darker-skinned patients).
Although Nd:YAG laser treatment usually leads to less dramatic results when compared to other laser systems available for hair reduction, its 1064-nm wavelength decreased absorption by melanin may also cause a lesser incidence of epidermal side effects, including blistering and abnormal pigmentation (Nanni et al. 1999). Short-term hair reduction in the range of 20%-60% has been obtained with the long pulsed Nd:YAG lasers.
Early clinical studies have demonstrated less hair reduction/laser session with Nd:YAG lasers as compared to the published results with either ruby or alexandrite lasers
However, preliminary studies suggest that newer, high powered long-pulsed Nd:YAG lasers may provide hair loss comparable to that seen with other devices. The long-term efficacy and precise role of the long-pulsed Nd:YAG lasers remains to be established.
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