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     Pigmentation > Switched Nd Yag Laser

Q Switched Nd:YAG Laser

What is Q Switched Nd:YAG?

Q Switched Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) is a lasing medium that helps in targeting dermal pigmentation and melasma that is not amenable to treatment with depigmenting creams and chemical peels

What pigmentary lesions can be targetted by Q Switched ND: YAG laser?

While the epidermal lesions respond best to 532 nm (frequency doubled NdYAG) the dermal lesions are better treated with 1064 nm.

Q-switched lasers are the gold standard for treatment of tattoos.

Lentigines: usually 1-2 sessions are enough to clear lentigines at 532 nm. However there is a risk of hypo/hyperpigmentation, so avoidance of sun exposure for 4-6 weeks post laser is very important.

Cafe-au lait macules: These again can be treated effectively in 1-2 sessions, but recurrence is common which requires multiple treatments.

Freckles: Response is same as for lentigines. Although very effective, risk of dyspigmentation exists.

Dermal pigmented lesions: Nevus of Ota, Nevus of Ito, mongolian spots, Hori's nevus, ABNOMs (acquired bilateral nevus of Ota like macules), and other flat pigmented birthmarks respond well at 1064 nm. Multiple sessions are usually required with near-total clearing of the lesion in most cases.

Melasma: The dermal component of melasma can also be treated but recurrence are common and complete clearnce is not seen

Is the procedure painful?

The procedure can be slightly uncomfortable but is very tolerable in most cases. The pain is often described as hot oil on skin or a slap from a elastic band. some patient may require topical anaesthesia. A topical anaesthetic cream can be applied for 60-90 minutes prior to treatment.

What can I expect post treatment?

Immediately post treatment slight swelling, white discoloutration with or without punctuate bleeding is often observed. Minimal edema and redness on the adjacent skin usually resolves within 24 hrs. subsequently a crust may appear over the entire area, which sloughs off at approx. 14 days post treatment. Post operative care include topical application of antibiotic ointment and a non-occlusive dressing. Fading of the lesion will be noted over 8 weeks and retreatment energy levels can be taloired depending on the clinical response observed.

Are there any side effects?

Transient pigmentary changes may occur that resolves in 6-12 months, rarely permanent.

Darkening of skin is related to the skin type. Skin types IV, V and VI are more prone to darkening.

Transient textural changes are occasionally noted but often resolve within a few months.

Rarely scarring can occur.

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