From fine lines and wrinkles to scarring, stretch marks and even melasma, laser resurfacing continues to take the world of cosmetic skincare by storm. Yet, the question posed by many patients is, “Which is right for me? Ablative or non-ablative?” To take a closer look at the differences between ablative and non-ablative laser treatments, continue reading below.
To begin, ablative lasers (think fractional CO2) are more invasive, meaning that they remove the outer layers of skin that is aged or damaged. This is accomplished by transmitting intense bursts of heat to targeted areas of the skin. There is a clear benefit to underlying skin, as ablative laser resurfacing signals the production of collagen as part of the skin’s natural healing process. As such, results are significant in regards to the visible signs of aging and skin damage.
Non-ablative lasers also stimulate the body’s production of collagen by heating designated areas of skin tissue. The idea is that new collagen will fill in fine lines and wrinkles, as well as other skin imperfections. Yet, because non-ablative lasers do not remove damaged skin tissue, multiple treatments are usually needed to achieve the results that a patient wants.
With a greater understanding of ablative and non-ablative laser resurfacing, it’s important to note that although results are more dramatic using an ablative laser, there is a higher risk of infection and a lengthy downtime is usually needed. Most patients require up to two weeks of recovery, and may experience redness, swelling, acne and changes in skin color. On the other hand, while non-ablative lasers require multiple treatments, individuals benefit from reduced risks and zero downtime.
Combining the power of ablative lasers and the safety of non-ablative lasers, the Cynosure Icon Palomar 1540 is a refined technology used to treat a variety of cosmetic conditions of the face and neck. At the Ransom/MD, Dr. Evan Ransom uses the Cynosure Icon Palmar 1540, as well as the Er: YAG 2940 to rejuvenate the skin, smooth fine lines and improve skin texture irregularities.
To learn more about the latest advancements in laser technologies, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ransom, call today!
Posted on behalf of Ransom/MD
Dr. Evan Ransom is an Ivy League-educated and Ivy League trained Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He is a Double Board Certified Head and Neck Surgeon and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and fellowship-trained in facial plastic, reconstructive, and laser surgery. His practice is in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Marin County, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, Walnut Creek, the East Bay, and all over Northern California.