Laser resurfacing is a well-established procedure in aesthetic dermatology that can significantly improve your skin’s overall appearance. It can even out your skin tone and reverse the signs of ageing by taking care of undesirable fine lines and wrinkles. It can also treat skin irregularities, such as acne scars, blemishes, warts and other bothersome skin conditions.

Before you jump into it, you should know that laser skin resurfacing has two main approaches – ablative and non-ablative. While both options can bring striking results to your skin’s appearance, they serve relatively different purposes and vary in recovery time and effectiveness. 

Keep reading to learn more about the principles and methods behind each option and determine which one is right for you.

What Is Ablative Laser Therapy?

Ablative or wounding lasers, such as CO2 and Erbium, vaporize the topmost layer of your skin (epidermis) to remove signs of facial ageing and irregularities. They also heat the underlying skin layer (dermis) to promote the synthesis of new collagen fibres. As the epidermis rejuvenates, it will grow afresh without the previously present signs of ageing and other skin issues.

Ablative laser skin resurfacing is undeniably the more powerful of the two options but is more invasive. It can take up to two weeks to recover and poses risks such as swelling, itching, acne, infection and skin colour changes.

What Is Non-ablative Laser Therapy?

Non-ablative laser resurfacing induces a controlled injury below your skin to prompt the skin’s self-healing properties and promote collagen synthesis. In this sense, it is less invasive and does not destroy your skin’s layers. That means the recovery period is significantly lower. 

Although there can be similar side effects to the other method, the potential risks are fewer. However, it would also mean that, unlike ablative laser resurfacing, you might require several treatments to notice more appealing and permanent results.

Nevertheless, non-ablative lasers are appropriate for almost any skin type and colour. You can expect mild redness or swelling after the procedure, which means you can easily fit it into a busy schedule and resume your activities right away.

How to Determine Which One Is Right for Me?

Both laser resurfacing options have their ups and downs, so choosing one over the other is not always easy. Generally, ablative lasers are appropriate for more complex skin issues, such as notable signs of facial ageing and more prominent acne scars. They are also a good option if you’re looking for faster and more permanent results.

Non-ablative laser resurfacing, on the other hand, is more appropriate for treating mild or moderate signs of ageing and is generally a better option for younger individuals. It may take more procedures to notice the effects, but it also has a much shorter recovery period. In the end, it is always advisable to consult with a certified aesthetic dermatologist who can give you their professional opinion and determine the best option for you.

Schedule Your Next Appointment With Us Today!

Laser skin resurfacing is a potent procedure that can help you reduce the visible signs of facial ageing and irregularities to bring a new life to your skin. Both ablative and non-ablative lasers can help you with wrinkles, hypo- and hyperpigmentation, and acne scars but it’s crucial to find the one most appropriate for you.

The award-winning clinic at YourDerm Laser & Esthetics boasts a team of highly skilled and devoted professionals who treat various skin conditions and provide aesthetic solutions. Call us at 403-202-4038 for cosmetic enquiries or at 403-457-1900 for medical purposes. You can also book an appointment online.