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1064 nm Nd YAG Laser Therapy

Skincare and IPL CapeMAC Dr Manoj Bagwandeen

1,064 nm Nd:YAG Q-switched Laser

* Please note that individual results may vary. Results are not guaranteed.

Laser is a technology that allows for an effective, safe, reliable and less painful treatment of skin problems such as vascular lesions, photo damage, pigmentation or unwanted tattoos while stimulating the production of collagen in the skin and improving the skin’s elasticity.

YAG laser – 1,064 nm Nd:YAG Q-switched Laser – is a technology being used by medical practitioners to safely and effectively perform various skin and body treatments for both therapeutic and aesthetic uses. Besides the very popular use for hair removal, YAG Q-switched Laser can help treat vascular lesions (spider veins, varicose veins, facial veins, vascular tumours), pigmented lesions, as well as tattoo removal and photo rejuvenation, also referred to as skin or facial rejuvenation. It further stimulates the production of collagen in the skin and thereby improves the skin’s elasticity.

What conditions can laser help with?

YAG lasers have an important place in treatment of the skin as they can further diminish or remove a wide range of dermatological conditions including:

  • Unwanted dark facial and body hair (hair removal)
  • Vascular Lesions (small blood vessels in the face and legs)
  • Pigment lesions (age spots/sun spots, freckles, liver spots and birth marks)
  • Tattoo Removal
  • Large pore size
  • Photo Ageing/Sun damage
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Onychomycosis (common nail disorder caused by fungal pathogens)
1064-Laser at CapeMAC

What are the Benefits of a YAG Laser Treatment?

1064-YAG-Laser CapeMAC

Laser treatments have grown rapidly in popularity and are now found in salons and clinics worldwide. Some benefits are:

  • YAG Laser effectively removes unwanted pigmented “particles” in the skin (vascular lesions, pigment lesions, dark hair, tattoo pigment)
  • Laser can improve skin quality
  • 1064 YAG laser has been shown to be more effective in safely removing hair than other lasers
  • YAG Laser can penetrate deeper into the skin that other lasers, and without damaging upper layers of the skin
  • 1064 YAG laser is effective on more hair and skin types
  • YAG Laser affords a reduced risk of patches of darker or lighter skin
  • YAG laser can be used on sun exposed skin
  • YAG laser can be used on patients that are not suitable for IPL therapy
  • YAG Laser requires virtually no downtime
  • YAG Lasers allow for great versatility and precision
  • YAG Laser is reliable and safe to use
  • YAG Laser offers fantastic results *

How does the laser work?

The acronym ‘LASER’ stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It is based on the principle of “selective photothermolysis”, photothermolysis being Greek for “destruction from heat caused by light”. The Nd:YAG laser (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) emits high intensity light onto the surface of the skin that is being treated. In the skin, very specific structures are targeted, such as pigment, redness, dark hair, etc., which will absorb the high energy light in the form of heat and get destroyed without damaging the surrounding tissue. The body recognises these absorbed pigmented structures as waste and expels them. Nd:YAG Q-switched lasers are non-ablative, meaning they can penetrate deep into the skin without damaging superficial layers of the skin.

YAG Laser FAQ - Questions frequently asked by Patients

Am I a suitable candidate?

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for laser therapy as not all skin types and hair colours are suited for laser. Fair hair, for instance, may not respond to the laser as well as darker hair; or darker skin is prone to absorbing more light than lighter skin types due to the high concentration of pigment. So patients with very fair hair, very tanned skin or dark skin tones sometimes are not suitable candidates.


In addition, individual medical conditions can affect the reaction of a patient’s skin to laser

  • Patient has any history of reactions or sensitivity to light based treatments.
  • Patient is prone to developing hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation.
  • Patient is prone to developing red raised keloid scars or other forms of excess scarring.
  • Patient has diabetes.
  • Patient suffers from epilepsy.
  • During pregnancy, breast feeding or menstruating.
  • After recent tanning or extensive exposure to sun, or the recent use of Retin-A or other sensitising products.
  • Keep in mind to mention any medications that you are using to your practitioner.


Always make sure you discuss your candidacy with a qualified and well-trained Practitioner. They will examine your skin and any scars you might have and determine which treatment option and which setting and mode is safest and most effective for your skin type/condition. And for your safety, they will also perform a test patch test a few days prior to the first laser session to see if your skin reacts well. Should laser turn out to not be the safest or most effective option for you, do not worry, there are usually good alternative options to laser therapy.

Which areas can be treated?

Laser treatment can be administered on almost any part of the body. It is however best to avoid the extremely sensitive parts of your skin, such as areas directly around the eyes, lips, nose and ears.

Is laser treatment painful?

Each person has different sensitivity levels. Some of our patients find our treatment virtually pain free; some patients feel a slight sting, like the snapping of a small rubber band. During the laser treatment, the specific laser cooling gel ensures that the treatment is comfortable. We also provide numbing creams for those patients that are more sensitive. And you will get to try the YAG laser treatment with the free test patch, before coming in for the first full laser session.

What is the cost of YAG laser therapy?

Use our “Prices” section for price ranges for aesthetics treatments at CapeMAC. Always remember: We are a medical practice and as such strive to offer you treatments that actually have proven benefits for the condition/s being treated. It is not always possible to give you accurate treatment prices for aesthetic procedures without properly assessing the extent of the problem and determining the most effective treatment/s for such problem.

In some cases, patients can reduce the total cost if purchasing a package of several treatment visits. Make sure you are clear about all the price points before you begin your laser treatment series.
Contact us now at CapeMAC to book an appointment with Dr Bagwandeen as a first step towards revealing a more radiant and confident you.

How do I best choose the right practitioner/practice for my treatment?

Your decision as to which practice or practitioner to choose should be based on the practitioner’s reputation, the practitioner’s apparent skill and the practitioner’s experience. In addition, the practitioner’s ability to communicate with you in a manner that is professional, sincere, unhurried and that makes you feel comfortable is of utmost importance. Please also see the information on “How to choose a Medical Aesthetics Practitioner”. We hope this helps you make the right choice.

What is the difference between Laser and IPL?

Fundamentally IPL and Laser have a similar mechanism of action (photo-thermal). Simply, the burst of light to pigment causes damage to pigment.

The main differences between Laser and IPL for medical aesthetics treatments lie in the technology used to generate the light, as well as the different properties of the light being used.
IPL produces many different coloured white light wavelengths: Filters are used to filter out unwanted light to a specific frequency for the desired treatment. It has a wider range of applications.
Laser produces a one-colour wavelength. Lasers are differentiated by the medium that produces the laser beam. Depending on the wavelength and penetration of a laser, each type of laser has a different specific range of utility. It can therefore very effectively target one specific structure in the skin but is limited in its range of applications.


Two significant benefits of Laser are:

1)    Laser treatments are more versatile as they can penetrate deeper into the skin and they can be used on sun exposed skin or on patients that are not suitable for IPL therapy.


2)    Laser treatments offer broader availability as they can be performed on more skin types, allowing safer treatment of patients with darker skin types.

Do I need to do another test patch if I have already done laser before?

Yes. The different areas of a body can react differently to the same treatment or a different of machine may cause a different reaction on the same patient, even if the same type of treatment is being performed. For your benefit as well as your safety, we at CapeMAC require a test patch for every area that you want to treat with the laser.

What precautions should I take before the treatment?

For further information, please see our Patient Information Leaflet for YAG laser treatments.

How long is one laser session?

YAG Q-switched Laser treatment session can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes (depending on the area and treatment being done).

How is the procedure done?

Fast, simple and easy. The patient’s skin will be cleaned correctly, any oil or deodorant removed, and a small amount of cooling gel will be applied on the treated area to prepare, protect and cool the skin. We will protect your eyes with special goggles and make sure you feel relaxed and comfortable. Also, we can apply a topical anaesthetic to the treatment area in case you are a bit sensitive. The hand piece is then gently applied to your skin and pulses of light will flash onto the treated area. You may feel a slight sting, like the snapping of a small rubber band. Once the desired treatment is complete, the cooling gel is removed and the treated area is cleaned and good moisturiser and sun block will be applied to your skin for protection.

How many YAG laser sessions will I need?

You will receive several treatments, even though you may see results as early as your first session.


Hair removal

A series of between 6 to 8 treatments is usually required to achieve the desired outcome (depending on the area being done) with intervals of 4 to 6 weeks. Patients with darker skin types may require more hair removal treatments.


Tattoo removal

A series of between 5 to 20 treatments might be required to achieve the desired outcome with intervals of 7 weeks or more. The colour, the depth and the size of the tattoo can influence the duration and the outcome of the laser treatment for tattoo removal.


Vascular lesions

A series of between only 1 to 3 treatments might be sufficient to achieve the desired outcome for small blood vessels. Several sessions may be necessary to remove bigger veins and spider veins. The form, size and location of the lesions as well as the patient’s skin type can influence the duration and the outcome of the laser treatment for vascular lesions.


For more information on how many treatment sessions you will need for a specific condition, please consult with Dr Manoj Bagwandeen at Cape Medical Aesthetics Centre.


* Please note individual results may vary. Results are not guaranteed.

What is the recovery and downtime?

There is no downtime. Patients can return to normal activities immediately after the YAG laser treatment.
There are usually no burns or long recovery periods if the treatment is performed correctly. You might, however, experience a few side-effects immediately after the procedure such as redness, swelling and itching that may last a few days. Your skin might also be a little more sensitive. Blistering or slight bleeding might occur after laser treatment – this is very rare though and settles by itself. Other potential risks can include pigment changes and scarring in the treated skin. For fast and easy recovery, patients are advised to apply strong sunscreen after laser treatments to protect their skin.
For more information on the recovery process after YAG laser treatment, please consult with Dr Manoj Bagwandeen at Cape Medical Aesthetics Centre.

What results can I expect from my treatment?

For more information on the results that you can expect from your treatment with 1064 YAG laser for a specific condition, please consult with Dr Manoj Bagwandeen at Cape Medical Aesthetics Centre.

We hope that this helps you understand a little more about YAG laser therapy – and assists you in making a better choice for your aesthetic treatments. To find out if laser treatment is the right facial rejuvenation option for you, please contact us at Cape Medical Aesthetics Centre. If you still feel anxious about the use of laser therapy, Dr Manoj Bagwandeen will be glad to discuss any queries and questions you may have about the use of YAG laser for yourself.

* Please note individual results may vary. Results are not guaranteed.

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