There are so many different types of laser skin resurfacing procedures out there that it can get very confusing. What laser procedures do you perform and what are they best at treating?
You are exactly correct in your assessment. There are two main groups of laser treatments however, ablative and non-ablative. This term refers to whether the epidermis is disrupted during the procedure or not. Non-ablative procedures include intense-pulsed light (photofacial) and others. Industry further confuses this by giving other names to devises like “cool glide”. Non-ablative devises are good at reducing problems confined to the dermis such as redness and pigment. Different devises are better at improving different conditions. In the non-ablative category we use a combination of IPL/photofacial and a Fraxel laser for pigment. Non-ablative lasers are not very good at reducing wrinkles. The Fraxel restore laser crosses the barrier between ablative and non-ablative as it leaves the very top layer of the epidermis intact to aide in fast-healing, but affects the living layers of the epidermis and dermis to provide some wrinkle reduction. For significant wrinkle reduction we use an ablative fractionated CO2 laser or deep chemical peeling. These modalities have a longer recovery time, but also provide the best results.
Posted by Dr. Buckingham