6 Popular Non Ablative Laser Treatments | Wrinkles, Acne, Pigmentation & More

Ablative V Non Ablative Laser Treatments

Sounds confusing? Keep reading to learn the difference between these laser treatments and their benefits for the skin.

Skin lasers are becoming increasingly popular for people wanting to improve their skin condition.

The word "laser" means Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

Their purpose is to remove damaged skin, layer by layer, through flashes of light directed over the skin.

Because of their function lasers can be classified into two categories:

  • Ablative lasers (to be removed or vaporized at very high temperatures)

  • Non ablative lasers

What Are Ablative Lasers?

Ablative lasers pass through the upper layers of the skin, removing them.

Skin Lasers

Laser light reach the lower layers, heating them and stimulating collagen production. The result is a more supple, elastic and younger looking skin.

There are two types of ablative lasers:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)

  • Erbium: YAG (Er: YAG)

Carbon Dioxide Laser

The latest carbon dioxide lasers use short pulsed light energy to remove damaged skin, layer by layer.

CO2 skin lasers are used to treat:

  • Scars
  • Warts
  • Birthmarks
  • Aging skin conditions such as wrinkles and sun damage.

This procedure is performed on an out-patient basis, and under local anesthetic if treating specific parts of the face.

When treating the whole face general anesthetic may be used if necessary. Treatment can last up to 2 hours according to the area-s treated.

The skin will experiment some redness, swelling or tenderness that will heal progressively after one month.

Sometimes takes longer for the skin to heal.

Patients will have to wear bandages for about seven to ten days.

Stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen with high SPF every day.

The results with carbon dioxide lasers are long-lasting and offer more dramatic results than the erbium laser, but the recovery time is longer.

It can be a minor risk of scarring and infection.

Erbium: YAG Laser

Erbium: YAG skin lasers use short pulsed infrared energy which pass through the top layer of the skin, and is absorbed by the water in the deeper layers. As a consequence the water is heated and this causes the water and the tissue of the skin to turn to vapor. This process increases collagen production, giving the skin a younger looking appearance and improving the skin's texture.

The erbium: YAG laser is used to treat:

  • Sun damaged skin
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne scars
  • Tattoo removal
  • Improve the skin's tone

This skin laser is not only used on the face but on the neck, chest and hands too.

Erbium skin lasers are less invasive that CO2 lasers, so the recovery time is shorter and less painful.

If during treatment you feel some discomfort local or topic anesthetic may be applied.

After treatment the healing process will take up to one week, and will get progressively better over the next few weeks.

Is very important to stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen with high SPF every day.

Choose a good qualified physician who will give you all the guidelines necessary for this procedure.

Is laser treatment safe? Most laser treatments are safe when done by an experienced and qualified practitioner.

Sometimes when we don't chose the right person or practice to perform laser treatments, things can go horribly wrong.

You need to be aware of these dangers and if you are thinking on having any laser procedure, please do your research first.

Better safe than sorry.

Non Ablative Laser Treatments

Non ablative laser treatments are the alternative to ablative lasers for people looking to improve their skin condition in the shortest period of time.

If you are wondering what is the difference between ablative and non ablative laser treatments the answer is that the latest don't remove the top layers of the skin.

Instead non ablative lasers work beneath the epidermis (top layer of the skin), targeting the deeper layers with short pulses of light, increasing collagen production.

Non ablative laser treatments are used to treat:

  •  Rosacea
  • Sun damage
  • Freckles
  • Age spots
  • Tattoos
  • Stretch marks
  • Some scars
  • Birthmarks
  • Leg veins
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne
  • Hair removal
  • Irregular pigmentation
  • Redness of the skin

With non ablative laser treatments there is no recovery time, so people can return to work or to their every day activities immediately after treatment.

If you use make up it can be applied after the procedure.

The inconvenience about non ablative lasers is that you will need more than one treatment (a series of six is normally recommended) to see good results and they don't come cheap.

Remember that is very important to stay out of the sun and use sunscreen with high SPF every day.

Below is a variety of very popular non ablative laser treatments.

Although the same laser can treat different skin problems, here the focus is on the lasers that are used most for skin rejuvenation.

1. Cool Touch Laser

This skin care laser treatment helps to improve aging skin.

First the skin is treated with a cooling spray.

Then a hand device piece is used to deliver short pulses of laser energy into the deeper layers of the skin, stimulating collagen production, improving the skin condition.

Non ablative laser treatments such as Cool Touch are used for:

Treatments can take up to 30 minutes and sometimes local anesthetic may be offered.

After treatment the area treated can feel hot and have a pink tone that will fade over the next few hours.

The risks with these non ablative laser treatments are minimal and people can go to work immediately after the procedure.

To achieve optimal results more treatments will be needed.

Your physician will give you the necessary guidelines for this skin treatment.

2. Medlite Laser

Medlite laser works in a similar way to the cool touch skin lasers.

Short pulses of energy laser pass through the epidermis into the deeper layers of the skin.

The top layer remains intact, while in the deeper layers collagen production is stimulated.

Depending on how deep the Medlite laser penetrates the skin, different skin problems will be treated:

Skin Pigmentation Laser
  • Tattoo removal
  • Skin pigmentation
  • Hair removal
  • Acne scars
  • Wrinkles
  • Skin texture
  • Enlarged pores
  • Vascular lesions
  • Freckles
  • Age spots
  • Brown birthmarks

The risk with this skin laser treatment is minimal.

Treatments can take up to 45 minutes, depending on area-s treated.

During treatment local or topical anesthetic could be administer if it's consider necessary. 

Once the treatment is over the area-s can feel hot and with a pink tone that will fade over the next few hours.

Stay out of the sun and use sunblock with high SPF every day to protect your skin.

Scarring and infections are very rear, but ask your physician about any side effects with the Medlite laser.

You most probably will need a series of treatments to achieve better results.

Non ablative laser treatments like Medlite

3. N-Lite Laser

With N-Lite skin lasers the energy passes through the epidermis into the deeper layers of the skin, targeting damaged tissue and stimulating collagen production, while the top layer (epidermis) remains intact.

N-Lite lasers are used to treat:

  • Skin pigmentation
  • Rosacea
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Port wine birthmarks
  • Sun damage
  • Acne
  • Acne scarring

During treatment you may feel a warm sensation in the area treated.

There is no need for anesthetic with these non ablative laser treatments and there are no side effects and you can go to work or resume your normal activities.

Stay out of the sun and wear a sunscreen with high SPF every day to protect your skin.

A series of treatments will be needed for optimal results six to eight weeks apart.

4. Titan Laser

Titan skin lasers work by projecting infrared light through the epidermis, heating the water within the dermis which causes the collagen to contract.

Thus collagen production is increased, giving the skin a younger appearance over time.

Non ablative laser treatments like Titan are used to tighten the skin and is also used as:

  • Laser treatment for wrinkles
  • To increase collagen production

Titan laser is not only used to treat the face, but can be used to treat loose skin in arms, abdomen, neck, arms, knees, thighs and elbows.

During treatment you may feel a warm sensation.

It can be uncomfortable and some people need topical anesthetic or pain relieve.

After the procedure the area treated can present some redness or swelling that will fade over the next few hours.

Normally you will see the results gradually, over the next few weeks or months.

Your skin appearance will get better as new collagen is formed, in the deeper layers of the skin.

With Titan skin lasers there is no need for recovery time and no disruption to your normal life.

You may need more than one treatment for better results.

Stay out of the sun and use sunscreen daily to keep the skin protected.

5. Fraxel Laser

The Fraxel laser is one of the newest anti aging treatments around.

The Fraxel laser works by projecting a laser beam over the skin, reaching the deep layers and causing microscopic wounds to the desired areas.

As a consequence new collagen is produced and the healthy areas around the wounded tissue help to speed up the healing process.

The Fraxel skin laser can treat areas separately rather than the whole face.

Acne Laser

These non ablative laser treatments are used to treat:

  • Acne scars
  • Age spots
  • Brown spots
  • Melasma
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Pigmentation
  • Rough skin

Before treatment a topical anesthetic will be given.

Then a blue tint is applied to the skin surface, to highlight the areas to be treated.

The skin will be cooled with a device during the procedure.

You will feel an uncomfortable feeling like tingling or prickling.

After treatment the skin will feel hot for a while and will have a pink tone that will fade over the next few days.

Flaking and swelling of the skin may occur and can last for few days.

Your skin will have a bronzed appearance after the treatment that will disappear over the next two weeks.

Over the next few months your skin will gradually became fresher, smoother and younger looking, as new collagen is formed beneath the epidermis.

The Fraxel laser has been approved by the FDA (food and drug administration, US) and is considered to be safe.

The effects are long lasting and your physician will decide how many treatments are needed, to achieve optimal results.

Stay out of the sun and apply sunscreen each day for skin protection.

6. IPL Laser

Intense pulsed light works by projecting short pulses of intense light through the epidermis into the lower layers (dermis).

This heat causes damage to the tissue which the skin repairs by producing new collagen, improving the appearance of the skin.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) is used for:

  • Hair removal
  • Age spots
  • Blemishes
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Port wine stains
  • Freckles
  • Acne
  • Skin pigmentation

During treatment the eyes will be protected.

Then a cool gel will be applied to the face.

The face will heat up and you will have the feeling that someone is prickling the skin with every shot.

Is uncomfortable but nothing that can't be tolerated.

The laser treatment will last around twenty minutes and the face will be a little bit red at first but will fade away soon after.

Some people may experience other symptoms such as mild swelling but in general, is a safe procedure and you can return to work or your daily activities immediately after treatment.

You can also apply make up straight away.

A series of treatments few weeks apart are needed to achieve the desired results.

As with every skin rejuvenation treatment stay out of the sun and wear sunscreen with high SPF every day.

More articles to boost & rejuvenate your complexion:

What is the best peel for your skin condition?

Why you need to use Matrixyl 3000 for the skin

My favorite facial exercise program is Cynthia Rowland

 High frequency treatments are top dog for the skin

› Non Ablative Laser Treatments