If you are concerned about wrinkling, sun damage, acne scarring, or hyperpigmentation, chances are you’ve looked into laser resurfacing treatments and what they provide in terms of improvement of skin appearance and texture.
There are two different types of lasers – ablative and non-ablative. Schedule a consultation before the procedure with your laser technician or physician to decide which would be best for you depending on your skin type, skin color, ethnicity, and skin history. All of these factors are important in deciding the proper course of treatment.
Ablative lasers remove layers of damaged skin, creating a wound response that stimulates healing and collagen production. These types of lasers such as the Erbium Micropeel and CO2 fractional usually require one treatment, which can be done on the entire face, and are more effective than non-ablative lasers. However, they are more expensive and require a longer recovery period – days or weeks depending on the type of laser and the depth of epidermal layers removed.
Non-ablative lasers are gentler and less invasive, so no skin is opened and no damage is done to the outer skin layers. These treatments are less expensive but may not be as effective. Because they use energy and light pulses (improves only superficial skin problems) and not heat like the ablative lasers, you will need 3 to 6 treatments to see noticeable results.
Regardless of what laser resurfacing treatment you choose, make sure you take care of your skin beforehand. That means do not use retinoid products a week before treatment and stay out of the sun!
By Amy Leitermann