Non-Ablative Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing
Non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing is a technique that incorporates a non-wounding laser to remove layers of skin as well as minor skin blemishes such as dark spots and fine lines. This treatment targets skin imperfections over the course of several treatments with shorter recovery times and has long lasting results.
Non-Ablative Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
The lasers used in this procedure are non-ablative, meaning they are non-wounding and less intense than their ablative counterparts. The fractional nature of the procedure delivers the lasers on a focused treatment area as opposed to non-fractional lasers, which administer across an entire section. The fractional approach results in a lessened recovery period and reduces procedure complications. The cost of fractional non-ablative skin resurfacing ranges from approximately $1,000-$3,000 depending on the amount of skin treatment. Fractional non-ablative skin resurfacing utilizes non-ablative lasers, which are non-wounding beams of direct heat. The lasers are used to stimulate collagen growth and tighten underlying skin. The treatment in effect eliminates older pigmented skin and therefore, stimulates collagen remodeling. In fractional non-ablative skin resurfacing specifically, multiple sessions may be required. The two most common types of resurfacing lasers are CO2 lasers and Erbium lasers. CO2 lasers are used for the treatment of wrinkles, scars, warts and other conditions whereas erbium lasers are used to remove superficial and deep lines and wrinkles on the face, hands, neck, and chest. The erbium laser bears fewer side effects than CO2 lasers. Examples of non-ablative fractional lasers include the 755nm Picosure Focus, the 1410 nm Fraxel re:fine the 1440 nm ND:YAG Affirm and StarLux, the 1540 nm StarLux and Icon and the 1550nm Fraxel re:store and Fraxel re:storeDUAL. Depending on the laser, a topical numbing cream may be used for the patient's comfort however some laser devices will have a cooling element built directly into the handpiece. The laser will then be expertly applied to the treatment area, targeting uneven skin texture, irregular pigmentation, fine lines, and other skin imperfections. The provider will closely monitor the skin to ensure an effective but comfortable session. Once the skin has been thoroughly treated, a soothing serum or ointment will be applied and a bandage may be put on the skin.
Non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing is used to reduce skin imperfections. Sun damage, fine lines or wrinkles, skin laxity, brown spots, blotchiness, scars and certain precancerous growths can be addressed with this procedure.
What to Expect
Fractional non-ablative laser skin resurfacing is a technique used to remove older, pigmented skin layer by layer to reveal new skin underneath. This is the least aggressive form of laser skin resurfacing. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after non-fractional non-ablative skin resurfacing.
- Minimal preparation is needed
- Wear sunscreen daily for 1 month prior
- Topical or local anesthetic
- Laser is applied to the treatment area, targeting uneven skin texture, irregular pigmentation, fine lines, and other skin imperfections
- Once treated, a serum or ointment will be applied
Following a non-ablative resurfacing treatment the skin will be temporarily red and swollen. Cool compresses may be applied to treated areas to reduce any discomfort. Most patients are able to resume normal activity almost immediately after treatment however should avoid strenuous activity until the skin is completely healed. Makeup can be worn after 2 days to conceal any pigment irregularities. Avoid sun exposure to prevent new damage in skin tone or texture.
The ideal candidate for non-ablative fractional laser resurfacing has sun-damaged skin with wrinkling around the eyes and mouth as well as skin laxity in the lower eyelid area. Candidates who have have experienced irregular changes in skin color, such as blotchiness or brown spots or who have scars that have made the surface of the skin uneven as well as precancerous skin growths can be treated in this way.
Not Recommended For
Non-ablative fractional laser resurfacing is not recommended for use on darker skin tones due to risk of hypopigmentation.
Side effects from non-ablative fractional skin resurfacing may include burns or other injuries from the laser's heat, scarring, changes in the skin's pigmentation (including areas of darker or lighter skin), reactivating herpes cold sores, bacterial infection, and milia may appear in the laser-treated areas during healing.