What is the difference between ablative and non-ablative lasers? Please advise, so confused!
Doctor Answers 8
Ablative vs Non Ablative Lasers
At my practice we have offer both types of lasers, our lasers help with a broad range of skin issues.
For me, I would recommend the best laser based on how quickly the patient is expecting results and what are the concerns. Also take into consideration weather & travel. We wouldn't want a patient to do an Ablative laser if you would be going into the sun shortly after the procedure.
Some of the non ablative lasers do the same thing as ablative lasers but they have completely different recoveries. Most of the non ablative lasers are done in a series.
If a patient has more than 1 skin issue, I would be recommending the more Ablative laser so we can take care of all issues at once with one recovery.
If a patient comes with 1 skin concern and doesn't have any down time, than the non Ablative laser would be the best option.
Ablative vs non ablative vs fully ablative vs fractional ablative
Ablative Versus Non-Ablative
We have many devices in our practice. We determine which one we will use based on each individual patient, their concerns, skin condition, skin type, budget and their desired amount of downtime. It sounds, from your description, that you would be a good candidate for the Halo hybrid fractional laser. This uses both ablative and non-ablative wavelengths, and treats a portion of the skin; this is referred to as fractional. This allows healthy skin to remain intact, which allows for quicker healing time and less risk. Treating with both the ablative and non-ablative allows for superior results, as compared to some other types of treatments. I suggest a consultation with a practice that has many different devices; this will allow them to advise you most effectively.
Dr. Grant Stevens
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Confusion About Lasers Is Common
Many patients I see ask me this very same question. As others have already mentioned, the difference between ablative and non-ablative lasers is the depth of treatment. Ablative lasers strip away the top layer of skin, providing significant improvement in only 1 treatment (usually). This comes at a cost of more downtime. Non-ablative lasers target the deeper layers of skin, involve less downtime, but require multiple treatments. The Halo fractional hybrid laser that I use at my practice is rather unique in this regard. It's really the first treatment that treats both layers of skin in a single pass. It is excellent for treating the conditions you mention, and I encourage you to find a qualified plastic surgeon who offers this treatment.
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.