Is Laser Hair Removal Using Gentle ND Yag Safe for Dark Skin?

I have black/brown skin and I have heard this is the best for my skin complexion but I have not seen that many reviews from black users. Is the procedure ok for my skin and are there any side effects?

Doctor Answers 2

For dark skin, Yag laser is the best

The long-pulsed Nd:Yag lasers (such as Candela's GentleYag) are the safest, most effective lasers for darker skin types. This laser can effectively removes hair in all skin types, but is my workhorse laser for darker complexions. I personally would not feel comfortable treating darker Hispanic, Indian or any African American skin with any other laser. We have treated hundreds of patients, often with the darkest of complexions, very safely and effectively with our GentleYag.

For lighter skin I prefer the Alexandrite (755nm) laser, as it has a better melanin (pigment) absorption. It is this greater melanin absorption, though, with both the Alexandrite and Diode, that make them more perilous for darker skin types.

Make sure you chose a physician you trust, with an excellent reputation, access to many laser systems, with extensive experience using these systems, and is Board Certified in an accepted aesthetic field such as Dermatology or Plastic Surgery.

Metairie Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Nd:YAG safe for dark skin

An Nd:YAG laser is safe for laser hair removal in dark, even black skin. The risk of laser hair removal in dark skin is typically damage to the epidermis, or the uppermost layer of the skin. The reason is that dark skin absorbs the laser more than light skin and can act as a target for the laser. The Nd:YAG has a wavelength that is longer than other lasers used for laser hair removal. For this reason, it can penetrate deeper into the skin, bypassing any damage that may occur at the skin's surface.

It is still necessary to use lower settings in darker than lighter skin and the area that is lasered should be sufficiently cooled with ice pack, laser tip, etc to protect the uppermost layer (epidermis). A test spot in an inconspicuous area is strongly advised prior to undergoing laser treatment of any kind, especially in dark skin. please make sure to go to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to ensure both safe and effective treatment.

Ritu Saini, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.