Anti-Aging / Skin Rejuvenation

Non-Ablative Skin Tightening with the 1064-nm Nd:YAG Laser

How It Works:

The 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser that revolutionized hair removal for dark-skinned individuals is also used to achieve non-ablative skin rejuvenation and wrinkle reduction.  The laser emits an intense beam of light to the dermal (bottom) layer of the skin to stimulate collagen, and over several treatments spaced one month apart can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Clinical Findings:

Weng et al. 2011 have demonstrated that non-ablative lasers including the 1064-nm Nd:YAG stimulate collagen synthesis in cultured skin fibroblasts (cells responsible for synthesizing collagen), possibly due to improved antioxidant capacity which reduces oxidative stress [1]. After performing a series of laser skin rejuvenation treatments on 50 subjects Tanaka et al. 2001 found that subjects experienced improvement in pore size, skin texture, and the appearance of wrinkles after treatment with a 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser and that results persisted 90 days post treatment [2].  Similarly, Wattanakrai et al. 2010 found that treatment with a 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser reduced pore size and pore counts, improved skin texture and lightened pigmented spots [3]. 

Professional & Personal Experiences:

I’ve been performing and receiving laser skin tightening with Candela’s GentleYAG for 10 years and my experiences are consistent with the results listed above.  I typically recommend an initial series of 5 to 6 treatments spaced 1 month apart.  Results such as  reduced pore size, more uniform skin tone and reduction in fine lines and wrinkles become apparent around 60 days following the first treatment.  Because as we continue to age the body makes less and less collagen, maintenance treatments roughly every 6 months are necessary to maintain results. As with all non-surgical procedures, you cannot expect surgical results.  This procedure is best suited for those with realistic expectations and mild to moderate sagging/wrinkling. 

Before/After Photos [4]:


[1] Weng Y et al.  Investigation of irradiation by different nonablative lasers on primary cultured skin fibroblasts.  Clin Exp Dermatol. 2011; 36(6): 655-660.

[2] Tanaka Y, Matsuo K, Yazuriha S. Objective assessment of skin rejuvenation using near-infrared 1064-nm neodymium: YAG laser in Asians. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2011; 4: 123-130.

[3] Wattanakrai P, Rojhirunsakool S, Pootongkam, S. Split-faced comparison of long-pulse-duration neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) 1,064-nm laser alone and combination long-pulse and q-switched Nd:YAG 1,064-nm laser with carbon photoenhancer lotion for treatment of enlarged pores in Asian women. Dermatol Surg. 2010; 36:1672-1680.

[4] accessed 4/17/2012.


2 thoughts on “Non-Ablative Skin Tightening with the 1064-nm Nd:YAG Laser

  1. Thanks for this article. Was a great read 🙂

    Would you be able to tell me with you experience using the yag for skin tightening what setting you would normally use for each skin types.

    Also would you use any topical anesthesia before treatmennts. I have read some doctors icing before and after treatment. I would rather not do this as I believe it’s better to keep the heat within the skin to heat the tissue.

    I’m in the process of purchasing the yag for my clinic. I have never used this device before but have been using gentlelase for hair removal methods.

    Would really appreciate your feedback

    • Thank you for your interest! I apologize for my late response – I’m still getting used to the setup of this website. I love my YAG – it’s an awesome laser. My settings for skin tightening are 50 ms, 35-50 Joules depending on skin type and tolerances and 40/20 DSD spray. I always numb the skin for at least 1 hr prior to treatment using EMLA 2.5% prilocaine 2.5% lidocaine compound. I don’t use ice prior or post treatment. You are correct in that it is important to leave heat in the skin to achieve full effect. In addition to skin tightening, my YAG will vaporize discernible blood vessels on the face with a 1.5 mm spot size and will eradicate leg vessels that are not being fed by reticular blood vessels with a 3.0 mm spot size. 2-3 treatments are usually required for the legs and 1-2 treatments are typically required for the face. Of course you know, the YAG is great for hair removal on pigmented skin. Little is known about how it works in this respect but it WORKS! The YAG would be an extremely valuable addition to your practice. Please feel free to call if you have additional questions: 617-523-7200

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