Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet; Nd:Y3Al5 O12) is a crystal that is used as a lasing medium for solid-state lasers.
A laser is an electronic-optical device that emits coherent, monochromatic light. The Ellipse Nd:YAG laser, with a wavelength of 1064 nm, is optically pumped using a flash lamp.
This permits the Ellipse Nd:YAG to draw on our established knowledge of controlling the pulse shape.
For treatment of vascular lesions long 35 ms long pulses are used whereas treatment of onychomycosis is based on the use of short 0.3 ms pulses.
To clear leg veins and other vascular lesions, the vessels must be constricted. A 1064 nm wavelength Nd:YAG laser sends energy into the blood and vessel walls, where it is absorbed by blood. Red blood cells are heated, causing met-haemoglobin formation and greater absorption. This causes microclotting and heating of the vessel wall, leading to complete or partial collapse. The constricted vessel then degenerates, and the visible leg veins disappear from the surface of the skin.
Treating vascular conditions in general is based on the principle of selective photothermolysis performed with a single long pulse.
A condition of good results is that the Pulse Time is chosen noting the thermal relaxation time for the actual vessel thickness.
The ideal immediate response to treatment with vascular laser is coagulation of the vessel with no other apparent effect. This effect can be observed in the form of bluish or greyish discolouration visible on the skin surface. In leg veins, blanching or disappearance of the vessel may occur.
Leg veins and reticular vessels are normally deep, which is why Nd:YAG in most cases respond better than IPL.
I²PL is good for treatment of very superficial small vessels or blanching after sclerotherapy. Note that lasers or light can only be used 1 month post sclerotherapy.
The exact mechanism of onychomycosis (nail fungus) treatment is not totally known. Heating the fungus is one major factor, but introducing a sub-millisecond pulse adds a “photo-acoustic” effect to the treatment, weakening the cell structure of the fungus.
A series of flashes of infrared light is aimed across the whole nail, including the nail folds (the skin immediately surrounding the sides and base of the nail). This heats up and destroys the fungus that is present. To ensure complete coverage, the whole series of pulses is repeated four times, and the individual flashes overlap each other.