This work reports that the ablation volume and rate of porcine skin changed significantly with the change of skin water content. Under the same laser irradiation conditions (532 nm Nd:YAG laser, , , ), the ablation volume dropped by a factor of 4 as the skin water content decreased from 40 wt. % (native) to 19 wt. % with a change in the ablation rate below and above around 25 wt. %. Based on the ablation characteristics observed by in situ shadowgraph images and the calculated tissue temperatures, it is considered that an explosive rupture by rapid volumetric vaporization of water is responsible for the ablation of the high water content of skin, whereas thermal disintegration of directly irradiated surface layer is responsible for the low water content of skin.