Yag Vs Diode Laser for Hair Removal on Skin Type IV?

What's more effective and safer for type IV skin? Yag or Diode. I had 1 treatment with a Candela Gentleyag 3 months ago (underarm) but dont see a difference, 3 years ago I had it done (underarm & bikini line with a yag) and my skin inflamed, looked like blisters for hours, then went away, didn't see a difference either, all hair grew back.

A nurse practitioner said Diode could be more effective on me but would that be safe? Also, which Yag is better: the Candela or Cynosure Apogee Elite, and why? I'm getting a Brazilian Bikini, part of my labial area is darker (black).

Doctor Answers 5

Yag or Diode laser for type IV skin Hair Removal

I would recommend the 1064 ND YAG for Type IV skin. In the right hands this laser can be safely used even on type 6 skin. The diode is truly a better hair removal laser wavelength, but is tricky on darker skin types. You definitely run a higher risk of some pigment changes or blistering if not in the hands of someone very skilled in treating type 4 skin and up.

The inflammation you experienced with your YAG treatment is perifollicular edema, which means you got an effective treatment. You would probably need more treatments to remove the hair than one. (average is 6). On darker skin types a hair reduction program with maintenance treatments is more realistic than permanent hair removal. Hope this helps.

Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Nd:Yag safest choice for Laser Hair Removal for darker skin

While Diode laser can be treated for darker skin, Nd:Yag is the gold standard for laser hair removal for darker skin individuals to minimize risks of post-treatment blistering and pigmentary changes. Make sure that the laser hair removal is performed under direct supervision of board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to minimize post-treatment complication.

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Hair removal lasers and skin type

With darker skin types, we recommend hair removal with the long pulsed ND:YAG laser as opposed to a diode type of hair removal laser.

The major risk of hair removal in darker skin is that the skin can burn and become hyper or worse hypopigmented with loss of skin color.

If you are darker where you want to be treated, it is safer to use the long pulsed ND:YAG for hair removal which is indicated for all skin types. I hope this information helps.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Laser hair removal for dark skin

I have performed thousands of Yag laser hair removal treatments on dark skin and feel that it is superior to any other laser for dark complexions. Always seek the advice of a trained clinician.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

See Physician who Uses Both

I would recommend seeing a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who uses both types of lasers. Type IV skin can fall in the middle, the diode is better for lighter skin and the long pulsed Nd Yag for darker skin. You should allow a physician who is experienced make the judgement. If they use both lasers they will not try to pigeon-hole you into the inappropriate device.

You should have a test spot first to ensure you do not have an adverse event.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 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.