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Cosmetic Dermatology

Q-Switched Nd:Yag Laser

When patients visit us to remove birthmarks, hyperpigmentation and tattoos, California Skin Institute providers may suggest the use of the Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser. This laser was designed to target various types of pigment in the skin, and can achieve significant lightening of pigmented lesions and tattoos. However, whether the Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser is the best treatment option for you will depend on a number of factors, including the specific issue being treated and your medical history. To see if this laser treatment is the right choice for your skin concerns, please call one of the California Skin Institute practices, or schedule your appointment online.

How the Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser Works

The Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser works by targeting specific pigment in the skin, which TARGETS the damaged skin cells in the treatment area.

When it comes to laser tattoo removal, the Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser targets ink pigment and breaks it up into smaller particles through powerful bursts of energy. The ink is then absorbed into the bloodstream and eventually expelled from the body.

The Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser utilizes two energy frequencies; 1064 nanometers, to target deeper skin layers, and 532 nanometers, to address hyperpigmentation and more superficial layers.

What the Q-Switched ND YAG Laser Treats

California Skin Institute providers utilize the Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser for treating pigment-related problems, like moles, freckles and pigmented lesions.

Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser is also used for laser tattoo removal.It can provide dramatic lightening of most tattoo colors, but tends to be most effective on darker inks. When it comes to green and yellow tattoo ink, this laser may not be the most effective option.

Is Q-Switched ND YAG Laser Safe?

The Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser is a safe procedure, when administered by the expert providers at California Skin Institute. We go to great lengths to ensure that our laser skin treatment experts undergo extensive training with laser devices and can administer the latest treatment techniques safely and effectively.

How Long do Treatment Results Last?

The typical California Skin Institute patient will need several treatments with Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser to achieve optimal outcomes. The number of treatments will depend on the specific issue you are looking to address and the size of the treatment area.

For example, treatment of hyperpigmentation issues, like dark spots caused by sun damage, will typically need fewer sessions than tattoo removal.

What to Expect During Treatment?

When you visit one of our practices for treatment with the Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser, your California Skin Institute provider will first make a detailed assessment of your skin concerns, to ensure that this laser is the best skin treatment option in your situation.

Once the treatment begins, your provider will numb the area with a topical cream or may use a local anesthetic to further reduce discomfort. You will also be provided with protective eyewear.

Your California Skin Institute provider will guide the laser across the treatment area, and deliver powerful bursts of energy to break down the pigment. Some discomfort is common during this stage, as the laser will cause micro-damage in the skin. However, most patients handle this procedure very well, and our providers work diligently to ensure maximum comfort.

Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser Side Effects

After the procedure, you may notice redness and swelling in the treatment area. Some patients may also experience very mild bleeding at the treatment site.

Aloe vera may be used on the skin after treatment, to soothe any discomfort. It is also important to cover up the area with gauze, to help the skin heal faster.

Over the coming days, you may notice some crusting at the treatment site, as the skin begins to heal. To reduce the chances of scarring, it is vital to let the scab heal on its own, without attempting to remove it.

To see if the Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser is the best treatment option for you, please contact one of the California Skin Institute locations, or find a location near you and request a consultation!


Treatment results will vary, talk to a practitioner to see if this treatment or procedure is right for you.

Conditions treated by Q-Switched Nd:Yag Laser

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