New application of the long-pulsed Nd-YAG laser as an ablative resurfacing tool for skin rejuvenation: a 7-year study


Correspondence: M A Alshami, Department of Dermatology, Kuwait University Hospital, Sana'a University, P.O. Box 1950, Sana'a, Yemen. E-mail:,



Carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium–yttrium aluminum garnet (Er-YAG) lasers are the gold standards in ablative skin resurfacing. Neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd-YAG) laser is considered a nonablative skin resurfacing laser whose usage is limited due to its high cost.


To assess the efficacy and safety of Nd-YAG as an ablative resurfacing laser and to compare the results with those previously published for CO2 and Erbium-YAG lasers.


A total of 296 patients (251 female and 45 male) with Fitzpatrick skin types III-IV and dermatological conditions amenable to ablative skin resurfacing participated in this study. Nd-YAG laser parameters assessed were wavelength (1064 nm), pulse duration (5 ms), fluence (10 J/cm2), and spot size (8–10 mm). Efficacy of Nd-YAG laser was assessed by comparing pre- and posttreatment photographs.


An improvement of 30–80% was observed in treated patients. The degree of improvement correlated positively with the number of laser sessions. The most common side effect was hyperpigmentation. Other side effects were less common and mild in intensity compared with published results for gold standard ablative lasers.


Not only was the Nd-YAG laser found to be as effective as Er-YAG and CO2 lasers, but treated patients also had shorter recovery and treatment times, and at lower cost.