The Laser Skin Treatment Decision: Ablative vs. Non-Ablative

Laser treatments these days serve multiple purposes — from getting rid of unwanted hair to lightening skin discolorations to tightening sagging skin. Modern advancements in technology have also made it possible for experts to introduce newer techniques.

When you’re considering laser treatments, there are ablative and non-ablative lasers. Before describing their differences, it is important to note that all laser treatments utilize energy to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin.

laser skin treatmentsAblative laser
Ablative lasers use energy to remove a portion of the epidermis, the skin’s superficial layer. When a part of the superficial layer is removed, the skin is stimulated to regenerate itself and increase its production of collagen (a protein that is responsible for the plump appearance of youthful skin).

Ablative laser resurfacing is right for you if you have moderate to severe forms of acne scarring, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. Recovery from ablative laser procedures is quite a bit longer than non-ablative laser treatments. You can expect swelling, oozing, and crusting of the skin after an ablative laser procedure. Taking time off from work will likely be necessary.

Our CO2 Fractional Laser treatment is an example of an ablative laser treatment.

Non-ablative laser
When non-ablative lasers were introduced, the extended downtime following an ablative laser treatment was eliminated. In non-ablative laser treatments, energy is delivered into the deeper layers of the skin and does not the affect the epidermis. The minimal downtime following a non-ablative laser is what draws many to choose it over ablative types. However, it should be noted that desired outcomes from non-ablative lasers will only materialize after multiple sessions.

Our Fraxel Laser Skin treatment is a non-ablative treatment that is ideal for younger patients and those willing to undergo multiple sessions.

Would you like to learn more about the various laser treatments we offer? Call us at (619) 420-1840 or fill out our contact form to schedule your private consultation.

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