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FAQ: Ablative vs. Non-Ablative Laser

ablative or non ablative

FAQ: Ablative vs. Non-Ablative Laser

Because you love to be informed, we are often asked, “What’s the difference between…” regarding your laser and injectable options, so here is another instalment from our series of expert-answered Frequently Asked Questions!

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 Ablative Laser vs. Non-Ablative Laser

The spectrum of laser skin resurfacing features two big players: ablative and non-ablative laser technologies. Nowadays, more and more people are seeking non-ablative solutions for their aesthetic goals. Read below to see why as we look closer and compare the pros and cons.

Ablative Lasers

The word ablative comes from ablation which means to destroy material through erosion. As such, the goal with ablative laser treatment is to deliver an intense wavelength of light energy to the skin and partially remove the top micro-layers of skin. The nature of this type of laser procedure is more invasive than its non-ablative sister and requires a longer recovery time (a few weeks of downtime) and poses a higher degree of risk as a result. Because it resurfaces the skin more aggressively than non-ablative treatments, fewer sessions are usually required.

Non-Ablative Lasers

Unlike ablative laser treatments, the epidermis outermost layer of skin is left intact by the non-ablative laser. The idea is to use gentler energy levels over more sessions to treat the deeper parts of the skin by delivering heat deep into the dermis (bypassing the top layer) without affecting the surrounding tissue. It’s typical that a non-ablative laser is also fractional, which means that the heat is delivered through thousands of microscopic, deep columns (microthermal zones) promoting collagen and elastin production to gradually fill in imperfections such as lines and scars. Compared to exposing all of the tissue to the laser, the fractional approach leads to faster healing and high client satisfaction.

This also greatly minimizes the risk of burns, pigmentation, scarring, and other complications compared to ablative treatments. Plus, since the skin is able to heal more quickly, you have a greatly reduced recovery time. We have busy lives, which means taking weeks off for downtime is not a practical option and non-ablative laser treatments are a great advantage in this aspect. Need more reasons to consider non-ablative laser treatment? They also tend to be more affordable per session than ablative ones– and as an amazing bonus, since they stimulate collagen and elastin to promote new connective tissue, you end up with healthier, tighter, more youthful skin.

Camouflaging skin lesions +

Colour correction +

Skin anti-aging

  • Scar removal (acne, surgical, chicken pox, injury, etc.) 
  • Birthmark removal
  • Stretch mark removal
  • Melasma treatment
  • Deep dark spots (sun spot, age spot)
  • Wrinkle reduction
  • Skin tightening
  • Undereye tiredness and dark circles

See for yourself the power of state-of-the-art fractional non-ablative lasers, including:

  • The Cynosure Palomar 1540 Laser –the Gold Standard for laser treatments– uses high-precision microbeams to penetrate the skin, heat and remodel the collagen stores to improve its appearance.
  • The Clear + Brilliant® Skin Rejuvenation Fractional Laser System refreshes your skin from the inside out to recover luminosity and tone.
  • + more!

Learn more about procedures that harness the benefits of these laser technologies below!

scar removal

birthmark removal

stretch mark removal

clear brilliant

melasma treatment

facelift

skin tightening by laser

non surgical eye lift

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