Ablative or Non-Ablative Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Ablative or Non-Ablative Laser Skin Resurfacing?

Ablative and non-ablative laser resurfacing is a great rejuvenation tool for the skin. But it’s also important to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into when you pick one of these skincare treatments. 

Skin rejuvenation has a number of different names including laser resurfacing, laser peel, laser surgery, and others. But no matter what name you hear it referred to as, all these laser treatments use energy to penetrate through the layers of skin to improve the appearance of wrinkles, skin discoloration, acne scarring, and other signs of aging. 

Ablative vs. Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing

The difference between ablative and non-ablative treatments is that ablative lasers remove the topmost layer of skin while non-ablative lasers heat the underlying skin tissue, forcing your body to produce new collagen without harming the surface. 

Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing

Non-ablative lasers are the best at improving overall skin texture and tone. For some patients, they can also be used to improve the appearance of fine lines, pigmentation problems, and mild wrinkles. 

Non-ablative skin resurfacing generally comes with a mild recovery in comparison to ablative treatments, however, multiple treatments may be required to achieve desired results. Other than mild redness and/or swelling, the skin is not visibly affected. Most patients are able to resume normal activities right after the procedure. 

Best candidates for non-ablative laser resurfacing

The best candidates for non-ablative resurfacing are patients who:

  • Want a treatment with no downtime
  • Are willing to undergo multiple treatments to reach desired results
  • Have mild to moderate signs of aging
  • Have minimal skin sagging
  • Are relatively young (between the ages of 25 and 65)

Ablative Laser Resurfacing

Ablative lasers are more invasive and are great for treating mild to moderate scarring, skin discoloration, and wrinkles. Patients generally see dramatic differences after just one treatment but most need two weeks or more for recovery. The recovery period often involves some discomfort, swelling, and crusting of the skin. 

Best candidates for ablative laser resurfacing

The best candidates for ablative resurfacing are patients who:

  • Show significant signs of aging
  • Have deep or pitted facial scarring
  • Want to see significant results quickly
  • Have time to dedicate to recovery

So which is right for me: ablative or non-ablative laser skin resurfacing?

The best way to determine which treatment is right for you is to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced skincare experts here at Virginia Surgical Arts. We are able to help you make the best decision based on your skin type and your cosmetic goals. Call today to schedule a personal consultation with us!

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