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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

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The Skinny


Average Recovery

3 days

Permanence

Temporary

Application

Laser/Light Therapy

Surgical

No

Cost

$1031 - $1144

Before & After Images by Provider

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The Specifics


What is non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing?

A non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure is the least aggressive form of laser resurfacing. The non-ablative laser aspect makes use of non-wounding laser therapy (unlike ablative lasers, which do destroy skin cells), and the fractional laser treatment aspect signifies the treatment is targeted to a specific treatment area.

Non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing treatments stimulate new collagen production and tighten/tone skin. Common non-ablative fractional lasers include: 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

What cosmetic concerns does a non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure treat?

  1. Fine Lines & Wrinkles: Collagen production smooths fine lines and wrinkles for improved skin aesthetic.
  2. Facial Skin Laxity: Collagen stimulation improves facial tone and firmness.
  3. Uneven Skin Tone: Abnormally pigmented cells are destroyed and more uniformly pigmented skin layers are exposed.
  4. Uneven Skin Texture: Dead skin cells and sebum build ups are eliminated to create smoother texture.
  5. Rosacea: Top skin cell layers affected by rosacea are removed, and new healthy layers are exposed.
  6. Melasma: Hyperpigmented areas are eliminated, and new consistently pigmented cells are exposed.
  7. Acne Scars: Scar tissue is removed, and new healthy skin is able to grow in its place.
  8. Mommy Makeover: Laser energy can help to remove targeted areas of hyperpigmentation or scarring following pregnancy.

Who is the ideal candidate for a non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure?

The ideal candidate for a non-ablative fractional laser procedure has sun damaged skin, fine lines and wrinkles, skin laxity, unevenness in skin tone or texture, or some variations of precancerous skin growths. Non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing is not recommended for those with dark skin tones secondary to the risk of hypopigmentation (areas of low skin pigment).

What is the average recovery associated with a non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure?

Most patients experience a few days of downtime following a non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing. Red and raw skin with mild swelling, and itchiness usually occurs following laser resurfacing treatments. Thick, hydrating ointments, good skin care, and limited sun exposure can help speed recovery time. Makeup can be worn after two days.

What are the potential side effects of a non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure?

Potential side effects following a non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing include burns and skin damage, scar formation, patches of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, cold sore resactiviation, bacterial skin infections, and milia (white bumps).

What can someone expect from the results of a non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure?

The results of a non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing will develop gradually over a series of laser resurfacing treatments. Patients should take care to avoid excessive sun exposure and utilize sunscreen during to mitigate the risk of irregular skin pigmentation. The results will be subject to age related changes and sun damage as time progresses.

What is the average cost of a non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure?

A non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,200. The actual cost of a non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing is dependent upon location, provider, and length and involvement of the cosmetic procedure.

Pros

skin smoothingskin tighteningimprove skin qualityimprove skin textureless invasiveshorter recovery time

Cons

scarringpigmentation changesexacerbate skin disordersless effective

Invasiveness Score

mildmoderatesevere
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to 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.

The Takeaway


A non-ablative fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure provides noticeable enhancements to skin tone, skin texture, and facial appearance. By promoting new collagen and tightening skin, non-ablative fractional lasers restore, refresh, and rejuvenate skin aesthetic.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. American Academy of Dermatology Many Ways to Firm Sagging Skin
  2. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Skin Tightening americanboardofcosmeticsurgery.org
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