Ablative and Non-Ablative Lasers – Which Option is Best for You?

Laser resurfacing improves your skin’s appearance by reducing wrinkles, frown lines, and crow’s feet. It can also help tighten and smooth eyelids and minimize scars and other skin imperfections. Laser resurfacing uses light energy at different intensities to achieve desired results on the skin’s surface while stimulating collagen production deep within the skin. There are several types of lasers. Each is used according to the condition that is being treated and is categorized as ablative or non-ablative.

Ablative Laser Resurfacing

Ablative laser resurfacing is the most powerful laser option. This treatment removes the thin outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis. At the same time, it heats the underlying skin layer (dermis) to promote collagen growth. Collagen is a protein that is naturally produced in the body and gives our skin its firmness. As we age, the production of it lessens, and we lose the elasticity because of it.

The ablative lasers at Texas Dermatology have a cooling element directly built into the handpiece, however, topical numbing cream may be used to provide additional comfort for the patient. The procedure duration depends on the area getting the therapy. Immediately after, the treatment areas will be sensitive, swollen, and may itch. Recovery time varies but can be several days up to two weeks depending upon the treatment area. As the skin heals, the results can be seen, and the effects can last years. The skin will be smoother and tighter.

Ablative laser resurfacing is the best choice for patients who:

  • Have deep facial scars
  • Show signs of significant facial aging
  • Want a fast result
  • Has time to recover and heal

Non-ablative laser Resurfacing

Non-ablative laser resurfacing is similar to ablative, but less invasive without removing any skin. Light energy is used to heat the dermis and stimulate collagen production. Typically, these are done in a series of treatments to achieve desired results. After the procedure, recovery time is minimal, and treated areas may be red and swollen. Result times are dependent on the new collagen growth, which is gradual and can take a few weeks. Non-ablative lasers help to promote improvements in skin texture and tone.

Not every person is a candidate for laser resurfacing. Skin tone, type, and existing conditions are all things considered in the decision process, so talking to a dermatologist can help determine the right approach.

Non-Ablative laser resurfacing is the best choice for patients who:

  • Show signs of mild to moderate facial aging
  • Able to undergo multiple treatment sessions
  • Need a fast recovery time

Texas Dermatology is a recognized leader in skin treatments for patients of all ages and cosmetic dermatology. If you would like to learn more, give us a call at (210) 728-3919, or book an appointment online.

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/laser-resurfacing/about/pac-20385114

https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/scars-stretch-marks/laser-treatment-scar

 

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