Ablative Vs. Non

Ablative Lasers Vs. Non-Ablative Lasers

Ablative Lasers Vs. Non-Ablative Lasers


Ablative lasers such as CO2 and Erbium are more invasive, but produce the best clinical results. more invasive. They work by vaporizing the outer layers of the skin. This process causes the skin to heal and restructure, and increases collagen production.Ablative lasers are great for treating visible signs of aging and the results generally last for 1 to 5 years. They can also be used to treat acne scarring, pigmentation irregularities and unwanted lesions.

It is important to note however, that ablative lasers present a longer recovery and a higher degree of risk than non-ablative lasers.


Most patients require 1 to 2 weeks of recovery time. Some risks associated with ablative lasers include:


  • Redness or swelling
  • Acne
  • Infection
  • Skin color changes
  • Scarring

You should consult your laser provider to understand potential risks associated with ablative procedures.

For years cosmetic practitioners having been eliminating fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage and other undesirable skin conditions with help of resurfacing lasers. In general, laser resurfacing treatments fall under one of two categories: ablative lasers and non-ablative lasers. Ablative Lasers vs. Non-Ablative Lasers Both ablative and non-ablative resurfacing can give you dramatic improvements, but they do differ significantly in the final results they produce.

What is non-ablative laser rejuvenation?


Non-ablative skin rejuvenation uses a laser to improve the appearance of wrinkles, brown spots and minor scars by creating heat in the skin without injuring the surface of the skin. The heat generated by the laser promotes collagen production which causes the skin to tighten and look young and healthy. Nonablative lasers often are fractionated so they deliver heat into the skin through thousands of tiny, deep columns known as microthermal treatment zones with intervening normal untreated skin. The fractional approach allows the skin to heal much faster than if the entire area was treated. With this approach pain is usually minimal and lessens the recovery period and reduces the number of complications that can occur. Multiple sessions are needed in most cases.


The procedure is used to improve the appearance of skin conditions such as:


  • Age spots
  • Scars
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Wrinkles


What can I expect after having had non-ablative laser rejuvenation?


Recovery time following the procedure is minimal. Improvement is gradual and can take several months to take full effect. In some cases, a series of treatments may be necessary.


  • Most patients can return to work immediately after the procedure.
  • Redness caused by the treatment can be camouflaged by makeup without any negative effects.
  • The treatment area should be kept well moisturized.
  • Patients should avoid sleeping on the treated area to prevent prolonged swelling.
  • Cold compresses can be applied to alleviate pain.
  • Sun exposure should be avoided after the treatment. Broad spectrum sunscreens of at least SPF 30 should be applied daily.


What should first be done before considering non-ablative laser rejuvenation?


Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will usually review the patient’s medical history and conduct a physical exam. Let your doctor know if you have a history of cold sores or similar disorders. This is also the time for the doctor and patient to discuss appropriate treatment expectations, potential risks and benefits of the procedure. Prior to treatment, the patient should:


  • Avoid tanning or excessive sun exposure.
  • Avoid perfumes, deodorants and other potential irritants in treatment area.
  • Avoid taking aspirin and other blood thinners prior to treatment.


Who is not a candidate for non-ablative laser rejuvenation?


The procedure may not be appropriate for people with certain chronic health conditions or unrealistic expectations of the procedure’s outcome.



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